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The past couple of years the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception have experienced an extraordinary increase in priestly ordinations. Those of us on Eden Hill who have had the privilege of getting to know these young and not-so-young men have watched them advance in their call to holiness.

We wanted to benchmark those moments in Marian history by offering bookmarks featuring their perpetual vows and ordinations to the transitional diaconate and priesthood.

By capturing these special moments in pictures, our Marian Helpers receive affirmation that their prayers are being answered. These men have accepted the invitation to serve Christ and the Church as a Marian priest under the loving guidance of Mary Immaculate. They are fulfilling their purpose in God's plan. Our Marian Helpers see themselves as an intrical part of that plan. Their prayers and support are essential to the future of our Church and the Congregation of Marian Fathers.

Brother Ron McBride, MIC, can attest to the power of your prayers. He entered the Marians against all odds. At the time he requested to discern a vocation with the Marians, he already exceeded the maximum age limit of 45. Before his conversion, he had raised a family and lived a wild life. But God's plan prevailed. On Aug. 16, 2009 he professed his perpetual vows. Soon afterwards, Br. Ron announced that he was pursuing studies for the priesthood. He credits the power of prayer to the transformation in his life.

"I am certain I made it to and took final vows because of the prayers of many people," Br. Ron said. "Now, studying for the priesthood I feel they are praying for me still. I do rely on these."

If you would like to unite your daily prayers with those of the Marian Fathers, the prayers on the backside of the bookmarks are written by their founder, Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski, and their renovator, Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz. The prayers chosen reflect the spiritual fountain from which the Marians draw to quench their thirst for holiness so they may fulfill their apostolic works. Some of the topics include entrusting ourselves and the Congregation to the Mother of God, asking for God's protection, for inner freedom, for the gift of prayer, and for God's blessings upon our undertakings. They are short prayers that speak volumes to anyone, especially our Marian Helpers.

Obviously, they may be used in the books you are reading. Or you may wish to place them on a prayer table as a reminder to pray for these Marians and all our men in formation. You may also pass them on to those discerning vocations or those who pray for vocations as a gentle reminder that God of Hope continues to answer our prayers.

When Deacon James Cervantes, MIC was ordained to the diaconate, he said, "I feel truly blessed to be ordained to the diaconate. Interestingly, I feel both strengthened by God, as well as supported by His people, the Church. It is an invitation and command for me to serve the Lord and His Church."

Serve, he will, as he is the Marians' newest ordained priest (he was ordained on his birthday, May 28, 2011).

If you or your prayer group would like bookmarks, please call us at 1-800-671-2020.


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