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.