'Holy and Devoted Priests' Needed
by Mary Kathryn Volpone
The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception are experiencing a surge in vocations. Mary from East Granby, Conn., is just one of our faithful Marian Helpers who recognizes the need to support our future Marian priests.
She and her husband, Larry, made a gift of stock this year. When I asked her why they support Marian vocations, she replied, "Because they will be holy and devoted priests, and we need priests!" Mary and Larry escape to Stockbridge, Mass., two times a year to be pampered at the Red Lion Inn and to be spiritually nourished at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, also in Stockbridge. She likes the quiet, saying, "I can always count on Divine Mercy to give me peace. It's what draws me here."
Part of that peace is from going to confession here. "I never know which priest is scheduled," she says, "but I always get good advice. He's always right on the mark."
One of the devotions Mary shares with the Marians is praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. "Every Holy Communion I receive, I offer for the Poor Souls in Purgatory to gain indulgences for them. It's the best thing I can do," she says. Mary learned about the importance of praying for the Holy Souls when she prepared a Confirmation class on indulgences. She was surprised and happy to hear of the Marians' new Holy Souls Sodality (Learn more.).
Even though Mary supports other religious communities, she especially loves the Marian Fathers.
"They've always been good to me," she says. She recounted one of her first experiences with the Marians. In the early 1990s, Mary was waiting for test results for possible breast cancer. She came to the National Shrine to find peace. She describes what unfolded. Her sister's friend told Mary to say "Hi" to one of the Marian priests he knew. "Father just happened to be celebrating Mass that day," Mary says, with a chuckle. After Mass, they spoke. "He just happened to be from my hometown," she recalls.
Mary asked Father to pray for her health. He turned to his assistant and said, "We should ask Sr. Faustina to intercede."
Though Mary had been drawn to God's mercy for years, she was unfamiliar with St. Faustina and the message and devotion of Divine Mercy. So she began to learn more about both. Then, when Mary received her test results, she learned that she was cancer-free!
According to Mary, "The Marians are faithful and devoted to the Church, because they fervently love our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary." Mary and Larry met Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, when he served as assistant rector at the Shrine. "We were both impressed with his devotion to Our Blessed Mother. He really cares about people and wants to bring God's mercy to them," she says.
Now, as vocation director, Fr. Calloway travels around the world to share his dramatic conversion story. "He's a miracle!" Mary exclaims. (Learn more about Fr. Don and his powerful conversion story.)
God is answering our prayers, but we need your support. If you want holy and devoted priests for our future, please contact me. Our Marian seminarians are the future of the Church — the Priests of Tomorrow.
Mary Kathryn Volpone works in the Marians' Evangelization and Development Office. You can contact her at Association of Marian Helpers, Stockbridge, MA 01263, or call her toll free at 1-800-671-2020. E-mail: email@example.com.