Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Short Talk on Spiritual Moms Apostolate

Spiritual Moms Diocese of Honolulu
Today I gave a short talk about the Spiritual Moms Apostolate. I was asked by Fr. Dariusz of St. Stephen's Church in Paterson to share this information with his parishioners. Father wanted his parishioners to learn more about spiritually adopting a priest during this Year for Priests. He would like to start such an apostolate at St. Stephen's, Paterson, NJ.

I thought I would share the main points of my talk as well the history how Easter and I started this apostolate. I am getting more an more inquiries on how to go about starting a Spiritual Moms Apostolate in other diocese. I thought it would also be helpful to those of you who feel called to either spiritually adopt a priest or seminarian and/or to start a spiritual moms apostolate in your parish or at the diocese level.

The seed for spiritually adopting priests was planted in my mind after reading the Zenit Article dated December 11, 2007, Vatican Seeking Spiritual Moms for Priests

That particular article offered the link for the Congregation of the Clergy's resources for Spiritual Motherhood

It was on or about that time that I contacted Easter of a Tribute to Our Priests to see if she felt call to join me in this apostolate. I do not remember exactly but I do not think Easter hesitated for a second to wholeheartedly agree.

On January 22nd, 2008 at the March for Life, Easter and I approached Bishop Larry Silva right there and then, and briefly explained what we envisioned and asked him for his permission. We had to provide more details on this prospective apostolate to our bishop. Not too long after we had permission from Bishop Silva, and the Spiritual Moms Apostolate was formed.

The next stop was to get the word out on this newly formed apostolate. It was with the help of our mutual friend Steve Odo, as well as Fr. Peter Dumag, Fr. Pascual Abaya, Fr. Marc Alexander, and other devout Catholics, that word was spread via the Adoration Chapels, the Diocese of Honolulu e-letter and maybe the diocesan paper the Hawaii Catholic Herald. On that one I am not 100% sure.

Then we started to collect names of both priests and seminarians who belonged to the Diocese of Honolulu as well as prospective spiritual moms.

Easter was the "recruiter" and she did a fantastic job of spreading the word to Catholic women to consider becoming a spiritual mom.

Once we had the two separate lists completed and re-checked for accuracy, the matching of the spiritual moms and their spiritual sons began. I was in charge of actual matching up the Spiritual Moms and the Spiritual Sons.

Although the matching done randomly we know we had heavenly guidance. Easter and I prepared for this important step by prayer and a Holy Hour of Adoration beforehand.

Then again before choosing names from the two separate piles, I prayed to the Holy Spirit and our Blessed Mother for guidance.

When we saw some of the matches that were made, we had no doubt that the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother had indeed assisted us.

I shared the foregoing in in my post dated October 11, 2008

On April 22, 2008, the Holy Father Benedict XVI gave his support for the search for spiritual moms for priests. Zenit article

From my post dated April 24, 2008, it appears by that day all priests and seminarians in the Diocese of Honolulu had been spiritually adopted.

After my short talk this morning there was a questions and answers time:

- I was asked what was expected from these spiritual moms.

I explained that we were to focus on prayers and sacrifices.

Some of the recommended prayers would be the Holy Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Holy hours of Adoration were highly recommended as was daily Mass and reception of Holy Communion for their intention.

- Father Dariusz asked me to give examples of sacrifices we should make.

I could only speak for myself so I mentioned mortifications whenever possible. For example, eating whatever is served in front of you without complaining, whether you like it or not. Not adding salt even if the food really needs it. If it is hot, suffer the little discomfort. If it is too cold, do not put on anything to be warm, If someone corrects you, keep quiet, If an "inferior" directs you to do something, obey without question, etc., These are little things yet at the moment, there is a strong temptation to add the salt, to put on the fan, etc. Remember you are making a sacrifice for your spiritual son. Just maybe it was that little sacrifice that will keep him close to God not not fall when Satan tempts him.

- I was also asked if the spiritual moms and sons should know about each other.

Here I used Easter's quote once more when I explained that "ours was a quiet apostolate". It was up to the spiritual mom to contact the spiritual son and let him know. But I did mention that from experience, many priests I have talked to are pleasantly surprised and grateful that they have a spiritual mom and dedicating their prayers and sacrifices for them.

At that point I added that if the spiritual mom chose to let her spiritual son know, then it would also be a very good idea to remember him with a gift or a card on special occasions such as birthday, anniversary of his ordination or simply just to invite him to her home for a family meal.

- One lady asked me if this was open to deacons since they were ordained ministers of the church too.

I explained that this apostolate was specifically for priests and for the seminarians who would one day be ordained priests.

- Fr. Dariusz asked if we could provide financial assistance to our spiritually adopted seminarian.

I honestly told him that Easter and I had not considered that previously but that I would bring it up in the future. Of course, if the spiritual mom would like to do that, it would be a nice gesture but not a requirement.

Well, that is about it.

When I get back to Hawaii, Easter and I will be meeting regarding the SMA. Again, if there are any of you who live in the Diocese of Honolulu, are a devout Catholic woman and feels called to this apostolate, please contact one of us and we will gladly give you the name of your spiritual son.

This spiritual adoption is a commitment. It is not be taken lightly. Your spiritual son is depending on your prayers and sacrifices.

In the event, you are a spiritual mom but feel you can no longer spiritually adopt, please contact one of us immediately and another spiritual mom will be assigned to that priest or seminarian.

twitter / catholicmominHI


John Bender said...

Thank you so much! This is awesome! I am tremendously inspired and hope that I can get something started here in Milwaukee!

Anne said...

Oops! How did that last comment end up with my son's name?

Esther said...


Anne, I am so happy that you will be pursing the SMA in your diocese.

Leticia said...

This is a wonderful apostolate Esther, one that is sorely needed in every diocese.

Esther said...

I wholeheartedly agree Leticia!

Fr. Gomez said...

Thanks for your great apostolate to pray for priests.

Esther said...

It is a privilege and an honor Father.