The Five Star Program

Many parishes today want to establish a Culture of Vocations in their parish but question “How to do it?” We know marriage, single life, priestly and religious vocations are all paths to holiness. Our focus is on religious and priestly vocations as the priest and religious are instrumental in helping the other states of life.

The Five Star Program has tried and true ideas can accomplish that goal.   These steps can be rearranged to fit your parish.

After the year of implementing the Five Star Program, we suggest celebrating by having a social time with the pastor, the key person, members of the vocation team and other interested participants.

Pray hard, work diligently and you will create a
Culture of Vocations in your parish!

The Traveling Chalice or Crucifix Program with accompanying prayers is recommended as the first step. We will refer to the Chalice model but the program can also be done using a crucifix.

The Traveling Chalice Program directly involves the parishioners. At the end of a Sunday Mass, a family, couple or individual receives the Chalice from the priest. They take the Chalice home, place it in a prominent location and pray daily for vocations. It may be the first time this topic has been explored, and may be a very important week for the family. This might be an opportunity to invite family and friends to join in sharing and prayer.

Participants use a Memory Book to comment on their experiences, thoughts and ideas as well as prayers or plans that result from it. The memory book then becomes a source for potential members of a parish vocation team (PVT).

To implement the Program: one, obtain the support of the Pastor and select one “key” individual to administer the Program. Two, purchase or obtain a Chalice from the parish, a case, a Memory Book and vocation prayers and if appropriate, a child’s Mass kit for families with young children. Please refer to the Supplement for specific resources.

The key person needs to encourage all parishioners to welcome the chalice into their home. An enthusiastic invitation by the pastor is the best way to get started. Frequent articles in the church bulletin and listing the names of those taking the chalice for the next four weeks are good. Sign-up cards can be placed in the pews and in the church vestibule. Where there is a school, an invitation can be sent home with students.

The prior week’s participants should be reminded to return the chalice to the parish office on Friday or to bring it the correct Mass on Sunday. The next recipient should be reminded when they will receive the chalice. Once a rhythm of getting names is established, this is not a challenging job.

A weekly vocation oriented item in the bulletin is a great way to keep the parish praying and thinking about vocations. There are excellent suggested inserts available that you can print or copy and paste into your bulletin. Possible announcements for Five Star activities are also included.
The “31 Club” is a prayer program built around the concept of people attending Mass and praying for priestly and religious vocations every month on a specific date. Calendars (available from our catalog or you can enlarge a calendar) can be attached to foam board and displayed along with an attached pen with which people sign up. Reminder cards should be available for those signing up.

After this, all that is needed are invitations in the parish paper (or perhaps reminder notes in the pews), plus occasional reminders by the pastor to join or be faithful to this “no dues, no meetings” club. Simple, but oh so powerful!

Another way of developing vocation awareness in a parish is to celebrate one or more of the established National Vocation Events throughout the year. The main annual events are Priesthood Sunday, World Day of Prayer for Vocations, World Day for Consecrated Life, and National Vocation Awareness Week. We suggest a parish focus on just one of these the first year, and add more gradually.

Many parishes start with PRIESTHOOD SUNDAY (traditionally celebrated in the fall). This is a great time to show appreciation for our priests, pray for them and celebrate priestly vocations.

At least once during the year, the PVT should schedule a Holy Hour for Vocations. (Some parishes do it weekly or monthly!) Review the many options for different programs at serraus.org and move forward with one that meets your needs.

Resources

Traveling Chalice or Crucifix:
There are many different suppliers and options to obtain your traveling chalice or crucifix and case. We are going to just provide a few for you.

If you are using a chalice, your parish or priest may know of a chalice you can use. The Knights of Columbus may even be willing to purchase the chalice and carrying case for you. Often a parishioner may want to build the case for transporting the chalice or crucifix.
Shown below are examples products from Leaflet Missal to give you ideas. Chalices range in price from $92 for a 5 inch high one to many thousands. Item below: Chalice and Paten ($315), Crucifix and removable base ($23) and Carrying Case ($150).

The following websites may assist you in finding a chalice or crucifix:

www.leafletonline.com
www.st-jude.com
www.churchsuppliescatalog.com
www.thecatholicshop.com
www.oconnorscatholicsupply.com

We are launching the “Traveling Chalice Program” in our parish. We encourage parishioners to take the Chalice home for a week and pray for vocations!
Simply put it in a prominent place, pray (prayers are included) and talk about vocations.
We will start with the ____Mass. Sign up will be next weekend!

To promote family prayer and awareness of vocations, we are introducing The Traveling chalice Program. It will be easy to participate in the program. Each week, a parishioner will take the Chalice home, put it in a prominent place and pray daily for vocations.

Suitable prayers are included. They may wish to talk about vocations, the need for priests and religious and how they can affirm priests and religious in their vocations.

In response to Christ’s call, “Pray the LORD of the Harvest that there be laborers for the vineyard”, we are presenting the Traveling Chalice Program. Each week a family or individual will accept the responsibility of praying for vocations. They will be provided with the prayers and Chalice to use as a focal point and reminder during meals. Watch for the sign up weekend coming soon!

Prayer Journal
A journal is an important part of the program as it allows you to keep track of people interested in vocations and get their ideas. It is nice if the journal fits in the carrying case so we recommend using a smaller spiral notebook with an attractive cover when you can print—something like:

St. Mary’s Traveling Chalice Program

On the first page, ask participants to record their reactions to praying for vocations and sign their name. It is good to include the name and contact information for the coordinator of the program on the inside of the front cover in case of questions.
Here are some suggested family vocation prayers.

Family Vocation Prayers

Prayer #1
Almighty and eternal God, in your unfailing love you provide ministers for your Church. We pray for those whom you call to serve the Church of ___________ as priests. Inspire in them a generous response. Grant them courage and vision to serve your people. May their lives and service call your people to respond to the presence of your Spirit among us that, faithful to the Gospel and hope of Jesus the Christ, we may: announce glad tidings to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives, set prisoners free and renew the face of the earth.

Prayer #2
O God, Father of all Mercies, Provider of a bountiful Harvest, send Your Graces upon those You have called to gather the fruits of Your labor; preserve and strengthen them in their lifelong service of You.

Open the hearts of your children that they may discern Your Holy Will; inspire in them a love and desire to surrender themselves to serving others in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ.

Teach all Your faithful to follow their respective paths in life guided by Your Divine Word and Truth. Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, all the Angels, and Saints, humbly hear our prayers and grant Your Church’s needs, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer #3
Loving and Generous God, it is You who call us by name and ask us to follow You.
Help us to grow in the Love and Service of our Church as we experience it today.
Give us the energy and courage of Your Spirit to shape its future.
Grant us faith-filled leaders who will embrace Christ’s Mission of love and justice.
Bless the Church of ___________ by raising up dedicated and generous leaders
from our families and friends who will serve Your people as Priests, Sisters, Brothers, Deacons and Lay Ministers.
Inspire us to know You better and open our hearts to hear Your call.
We ask this through our Lord. Jesus Christ, Amen.

Prayer #4
O God, Who wish all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of Your truth send, we beg You, laborers into Your harvest, and grant them grace to speak Your word with all boldness; so that Your word may spread and be glorified, and all nations may know You, the only God, and Him Whom You have sent, Jesus Christ Your Son, Our Lord, Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

Prayer #5
Heavenly Father, You have asked us to pray for vocations, that there might be young men and women willing to give of themselves for the sake of the Gospel. Hear the prayers of your Church and, through the merits of Your Passion and Death, send an abundance of good and holy priests, Religious and other consecrated persons to serve faithfully the People of God. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mary, Mother of all vocations, pray for us!

Prayers of Pope Benedict XVI -On the World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2006
Grant, O Father, that the Church may welcome with joy the numerous inspirations of the Spirit of Your Son and, docile to His teachings, may she care for vocations to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life. Amen.
Sustain, O Lord, bishops, priests and deacons, consecrated men and women, and all the baptized in Christ, so that they may faithfully fulfill their mission at the service of the Gospel. Amen.

Daily Prayers for the School Traveling Crucifix Program

 These prayers are provided to make projection easy for classroom use.  They can be used for your daily prayer for vocations.  Please use what you feel is appropriate for your grade level.

 The following are ‘Prayers for the Week’ regarding vocations followed by a prayer from the Pope Francis: 

Monday: Prayer to Know One’s Vocation

Intention: We pray for all of those who might not know their vocation in life. Through prayer and with God’s help, may they come to know His will for their lives.

Lord, my God and my loving Father, You have made me to know You, to love You, to serve You, and thereby to find and fulfill myself. I know that every path can lead me to You, but of them all, there is one especially by which You want me to come to You. Since I will do what You want of me, I pray, send Your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what You want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all my strength, right to the end. Amen.

Tuesday: Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church

Intention: We pray that we might grow in our love and devotion to Mary.

We turn to you, Mary, Mother of the Church. Through your “yes,” you have opened the door that makes Christ present in the world, in history, and in individual lives. In humble silence and in total availability, you welcomed the call of the Most High. May there be many men and women in our day who respond to your Son’s invitation: “Follow me!” Grant them courage to follow Christ along the road that He walked. Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us and for an increase of priestly and religious vocations. Amen.

Wednesday: Litany for Vocations

Intention: We pray for an increase in religious vocations.

[Prayer Leader]                                                          [Response]

Lord, have mercy.                                                       Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.                                                     Christ, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.                                                            Christ, hear us.

God the Father of heaven,                                          Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,                        Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,                                                     Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,                                                                  Pray for us.

St. Joseph, protector of the Holy Church,                   Pray for us.

St. Theresa of the Child Jesus,                                    Pray for us.

St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests,                 Pray for us.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton,                                              Pray for us.

St. Charles Borromeo, patron of seminarians,           Pray for us.

St. Katherine Drexel,                                                   Pray for us.

St. Stephen, patron of deacons,                                  Pray for us.

St. John Berchmans, patron of altar servers,             Pray for us.

St. Junipero Serra,                                                       Pray for us.

All you holy men and women,                                    Pray for us.

Through your mercy,                                                  Send workers into Your harvest, Lord.

Through our prayers and sacrifices,                           Send workers into Your harvest, Lord.

Through the power of the Mass,                                Send workers into Your harvest, Lord.

Through the holiness of families,                               Send workers into Your harvest, Lord.

All: Let us pray: O God, who chose the Apostles to make disciples of all nations, we earnestly implore You to choose among us many priests and religious who will love You with their whole heart and will gladly spend their entire lives making You known and loved. Amen. 

Thursday: Prayer for Students at Our School

Intention: We pray that, if it be God’s will, there might be vocations to the priesthood and religious life from our own school and that they be supported through our encouragement.

Lord Jesus Christ, we bring to You in prayer the young people of our school. Give them hearts open to hear Your voice. Help them to be generous in responding to Your call. Give them the grace to persevere in overcoming all the pressures in our world that keep them from embracing and truly living their vocation. Graciously grant to parents a living faith and an ardent love, which will inspire them to encourage their children to live holy lives. May parents genuinely encourage and foster the God-given vocation of their children and help them to respond generously. Let them rejoice when a child of theirs is called to be a priest or religious. May the example of Your life and that of Joseph and Mary encourage parents and children to form holy families and let Your grace sustain them. Amen.

Friday: Prayer for all priests and religious that have served your school

Intention: We pray for our school, that it may grow in holiness and that from among its members there may be priests and religious to serve the Church.

Heavenly Father, bless Your Church with an abundance of holy and zealous priests, deacons, brothers, and sisters. To those you have called to the married state and those you have chosen to live as single persons in the world, grant the special graces that their lives require. Form us all in the likeness of your Son so that in Him, with Him, and through Him we may love you more deeply and serve you more faithfully, always and everywhere. With Mary, we ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Please pray a Hail Mary, Our Father and Glory Be in thanksgiving for all the priests and religious that have served our school.

Prayer #1 (Pope Francis I Prayer for Vocations)

Intention:  With the Holy Father, we pray for an increase in priestly and religious vocations throughout the universal Church.

LORD of the Harvest,

BLESS young people with the gift of courage to respond to your call. Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things.

INSPIRE all of your disciples to mutual love and giving— for vocations blossom in the  good soil of faithful people.

INSTILL those in religious life, parish  ministries, and families, with the confidence  and grace to invite others to embrace  the bold and noble path of a life  consecrated to you.

UNITE us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament, so that we may cooperate  with you in building your reign of mercy  and truth, of justice and peace. Amen.

 Prayer #2: Prayer to Know My Vocation

I glorify You, God in all that I do.

In Mind, body, and spirit

I give my best to you.

Help me to follow your will

No matter the Call:

Sister, brother, or priest,

I promise my all.

If you call me to marriage,

I promise to love,

And to teach my own children

To seek grace from above.

Glory be to the Father,

and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning,

is now, and ever shall be,

world without end. Amen.

(Click Here) WORD version of the Serra Prayers For Traveling Crucifix