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Her Prayers for Priests Are Answered

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By Ellen Miller (Jun 23, 2018)
Sharon Marino of Riverside, New Jersey, attends daily Mass, and at each Mass, she offers a prayer of thanks for the gift of the priesthood. She says, "Without the priests, we couldn't have Confession or the Eucharist." She also prays for several seminarians — the priests of tomorrow — by name.

One of the young men she prayed for was named Anthony. Years ago, he and Sharon were in a prayer group that met on Sunday evenings. Sensing he was discerning a call to the priesthood, she invited him to an event about priestly vocations. He ultimately joined the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. After years of seminary training and many prayers offered by Sharon and others, Anthony was ordained to the priesthood. Maybe you know him: Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC, the rector of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.

That was how Sharon first heard about the Marian Fathers. Sharon and Fr. Anthony have stayed in touch. When Sharon's mother was in her final days, Fr. Anthony, his father, and Sharon prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at her bedside. Her mother, a prayer warrior, said the Rosary and the Chaplet every day. When the Lord called Sharon's mother home during the Hour of Great Mercy on Jan. 1, the Feast of the Mother of God, Sharon offered thanks for such a blessing.

From the time of Fr. Anthony's ordination, Sharon has continued to pray for men discerning a vocation with the Marians. When she hears that a Marian is going to be ordained, she offers a Holy Hour for him and sends him a card to let him know that she continues to keep him in her daily prayers.

Sharon also financially supports the seminarians, and she's thrilled to see that the Marian Congregation continues to grow. She has no doubt that God is blessing the Marian Fathers with strong vocations because they are faithful to the teachings of the Church. "It's a joy to support an order of priests who are holy and devout," she says.

Sharon has also thought about the future of the Marians. When she prepared her last will and testament, she included a gift to support the Marian seminarians. These future Marians will continue to administer the Sacraments and promote devotion to Mary Immaculate, the Divine Mercy, and the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

If you would like to read some of the vocation stories of current Marian seminarians, find a prayer for vocations, or learn about the process of becoming a Marian priest or brother, please visit marian.org/VocSupport.

If you would like to join Sharon in supporting Marian vocations, please get in touch with me. I also encourage you to take some time to review your will and other plans and, if necessary, update them. If you would like to arrange a gift to the Marian Fathers in your will or other estate plans, I would be happy to assist you and your advisors.

Ellen Miller is director for Special Gifts. Contact her at (413) 298-1380; [email protected]; or Association of Marian Helpers, Stockbridge, MA 01263. Visit marian.org/PlannedGiving to learn more.

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