Year of the Priest and the Eucharistic Congress

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All are invited to attend a Eucharistic Congress on September 11-12, 2009 in Washington, DC at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Congress, entitled Sacrifice of Enduring Love, is sponsored by the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR).

There is no charge for admission to the two-day event that will consist of: celebration of the Liturgy, conferences and catechesis, Eucharistic adoration and procession, and other activities focusing on the Eucharist.

Three vocations will be explored in-depth — the Priesthood, Religious Life, and Marriage. Speakers include: Justin Cardinal Rigali, Seán Cardinal O’Malley, Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Archbishop Donald Wuerl, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, Rev. Eduardo Chávez, Rev. Bernard Murphy, CFR; Rev. David Toups, STD; Mother Ann Marie, OP; Sr. Maria del Cenaculo Perez, SSVM; Terry Polakovic, Executive Director of ENDOW; Rev. Thomas Rosica of Salt and Light Television; Laura Molla, daughter of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, and her husband Giuseppe Pannuti; Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus; Drs. J. David and Angela Franks, Cecilia Sone, and others.

In addition to other displays, a piece of the actual tilma of St. Juan Diego will be exhibited.

For more information about the Congress, visit or write: P.O. Box 4467, Washington, DC 20017.

Here is a reflection on the vocation of the Priesthood written for the Eucharistic Congress. As we celebrate this Year of the Priest, let us pray for priest and thank God for the gift of who they are to us. May this reflection lead you to prayer and to a deeper knowledge and love of His Heart.


How great is your love, O Jesus!
You give to us those who so closely
Follow you that when we hear them,
We hear you! They are your priests!
You use them to touch our hearts,
To heal us, to draw us closer to your own Heart.

Jesus, we pray for our priests,
These men, your brothers
Who sacrifice marriage, a spouse
And children to be your presence!
They do it willingly! They do it lovingly!

Their love for you is seen in their love
For us, your people.
Some arise at all hours of the night
To anoint and confess one who is about to die.
Others teach our children and ourselves,
Helping us think through those hard decisions
We need to make. They feed us on your Word
And nurture us with your Body and Blood.

They, though weak and human as we,
Trust so totally in you that they take up
What no one would dare take up on their own:
To be your presence, in persona Christi!
This is a mystery we barely understand!
We, baptized into your death and resurrection,
Share in your roles as Priest, Prophet and King!
By ordination your priests identify and personify
You, the only High Priest we have!

You give to us the gift of Holy Orders
So we who live so many years
After you walked this earth
Can still encounter you, the Risen Lord Jesus!
We meet your love and your healing,
We hear you speak words
Of kindness and forgiveness in them.

In complete love and total dedication
These men, our brothers, commit
Themselves to you and to the service of the Church;
So all may know you, love you and serve you!
Each day they offer for us, your people,
Our thanks and praise to the Almighty
And everlasting Father in the Eucharist,
Your own gift of enduring love for us!
As they consecrate the bread and wine
into your Body and Blood;
Consecrate them and us
so that we, too, may be your presence!

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