Seminary seeks parish chalices for vocations prayers

| July 14, 2015 | 1 Comment
Father Jeffrey Huard, director of spiritual formation at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, celebrates Mass April 14 with a chalice from St. Timothy in Maple Lake used to pray for vocations as part of the seminary’s new initiative. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Father Jeffrey Huard, director of spiritual formation at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, celebrates Mass April 14 with a chalice from St. Timothy in Maple Lake used to pray for vocations as part of the seminary’s new initiative. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Gleaming and colorful, the ornate chalice that’s been used for liturgies at St. Mary’s Chapel at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity since mid-April doesn’t belong to the seminary.

Sterling silver with a 24-karat-gold-plated finish, the chalice and its accompanying paten belong to St. Timothy parish in Maple Lake.

They are on loan to the major seminary of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as the seminary initiates a chalice sharing program that’s the brainchild of its rector, Msgr. Aloysius Callaghan.

The idea came to him as he pondered ways the seminary could support priestly vocations, he said.

“I remembered the ‘traveling Madonna’ (a statue of Mary shared from home to home for families to pray before), and I thought it would be a great thing to do a lending program,” Msgr. Callaghan said.

“The idea is to use a parish’s chalice at every public Mass at the seminary and to pray for vocations from that parish. The people of the parish would know their chalice is here, and they would pray for us,” he said.

The first chalice in the program from St. Timothy originally was donated to the parish by the family of Victor and Ruth Mary Jude in memory of their faithful parents, according to St. Timothy pastor Father John Meyer. The Jude family was related to Father Robert Jude, a Maple Lake native who died earlier this year.

Used as the main chalice at the parish for years, it has a rich filigree overlay on the cup and the base, both of which are decorated with fine, hand-painted enamel medallions. The artwork depicts the images of the 12 Apostles that grace the wall behind St. Timothy’s altar.

Father Meyer said he wrote about the chalice sharing in the parish bulletin, and information was included in pulpit announcements as well.

The benefit to his parish, he said, is that the chalice sharing “raises awareness of vocations and the need to pray for vocations. That’s the main purpose. It also helps us to be united to our seminary and to grow in understanding that we are a part of a larger Church.”

Now the seminary is requesting other parishes to take part by sharing a chalice. Msgr. Callaghan said he hopes to have a schedule of chalices from various parishes lined up for use at the seminary when its academic year begins in September.

While the main goal is to encourage prayer for vocations, Msgr. Callaghan appreciates that the chalice sharing also connects parishioners to the St. Paul Seminary, and connects seminarians to the people and parishes of the archdiocese. “It’s a reminder to all the seminarians that the parishes that share their chalices with us are places where they will serve,” he said.

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  • Mary Clare Wareham

    Msgr. Callahan mentions a ‘traveling Madonna’ statue that was passed home to home for prayer. Perhaps it would be a good idea to resurrect this program specifically to pray to Mary for the restoration of purity in our Church and in our culture at large. Impurity is at the root of the majority of evils that are undermining the family and disfiguring the image of a holy priesthood. But few will acknowledge it or speak against it. Impurity is the elephant in the living room that either we don’t want to admit is there, or if we do, we have grown to accept it even if we don’t like it very much. Mary, the Immaculata is THE ONE, ‘terrible as an army set in battle array’ who can crush the head of the serpent of impurity, but only if we ask her. She will give a ‘new purity’ to those who have fallen; her victory will begin with the help of those rejuvenated souls, newly clothed with her own immaculate purity. The Family Rosary Processions has the beautiful image of the Imaculate Heart of Mary available to travel to parishes for a Eucharistic Family Holy Hour. Contact them for details.
    MC Wareham