August 24, 2011 // Local

Monstrance blessed by Pope John Paul II scheduled to visit diocese

This monstrance, blessed by the late Pope John Paul II to promote the 2004-2005 Year of the Eucharist, will be visiting parishes across the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The visit is part of a worldwide initiative to increase prayers for vocations.

A monstrance blessed by the late Pope John Paul II to encourage prayers for vocations to the priesthood and religious life will be making a stop in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend on its tour through the United States and Canada.

The monstrance, which is an exposition case and stand used to display the Eucharist for adoration, will arrive at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 11 a.m. to noon.

Additional visits include:

• Saturday, Sept. 10, 8:30-9:30 p.m. –– Antioch Youth Group, Mishawaka

• Sunday, Sept. 11, noon to 8 p.m. — St. Mary, Bristol

• Monday, Sept. 12, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. –– Marian High School, Mishawaka

• Monday, Sept. 12, 3-9 p.m. — St. Vincent, Elkhart

• Tuesday, Sept. 13, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. — Holy Family, South Bend

• Wednesday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. — St. Michael, Plymouth

• Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6-8 p.m. — Our Lady of Hungary, South Bend

• Thursday, Sept. 15, 9 a.m. to noon — St. Joseph Church, South Bend

• Thursday, Sept. 15, 3-9 p.m. — St. Thomas, Elkhart

• Friday, Sept. 16, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Saint Joseph’s High School, South Bend

• Saturday, Sept. 17, 6-7 p.m. — St. Patrick, Walkerton

• Sunday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m. to evening — Our Lady of Guadalupe Diocesan Shrine and Church, Warsaw

• Monday, Sept. 19, 8 a.m. to noon — Sacred Heart Parish, Warsaw

• Monday, Sept. 19, 1-3 p.m. — Bishop Dwenger High School, Fort Wayne

• Tuesday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Our Lady of Good Hope, Fort Wayne

• Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m. — Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne

• Wednesday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. — St. Vincent de Paul, Fort Wayne

• Thursday, Sept. 22, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — St. John the Baptist, New Haven

• Thursday, Sept. 22, 6-8 p.m. — St. Therese, Fort Wayne

• Friday, Sept. 23, 8-11 a.m. — St. Martin de Porres, Syracuse

• Friday, Sept. 23, noon to 5 p.m. — St. Mary, Huntington

• Saturday, Sept. 24, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. — St. John the Baptist, Fort Wayne

• Saturday, Sept. 24, 3-5 p.m. — St. Rose of Lima, Monroeville

• Sunday, Sept. 25, noon to 3 p.m. — St. Charles Borromeo, Fort Wayne

• Sunday, Sept. 25, 5 p.m. to closing — St. Peter, Fort Wayne

Visit — and the Sept. 11 issue of the newspaper for updates.

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades will be the celebrant of a Holy Hour at St. Peter Church in Fort Wayne on Sept. 25 at 5 p.m., which will close the Vocation Monstrance tour in the diocese.

“The goal is to send the monstrance to different dioceses to promote prayer services centered around Adoration of the Consecrated Host,” said Father Edward J. Burns, executive director of the Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Given by the Vatican to the USCCB, the monstrance is traveling to different U.S. and Canadian dioceses at the request of local bishops.

“I think it’s going to create great synergy in the country,” said Bishop Blase J. Cupich, Bishop of Spokane, Wash., and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Vocations. “It will be an opportunity to raise up in the minds of the faithful that the need is not only to pray, but also to create a culture of vocations.”

Along with the USCCB, the special honor of helping to create and handle the logistics of the tour schedule was given to members of the USA Council of Serra International, a Catholic organization of lay men and women dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

“Serrans are organized and the program will highlight the mission of Serra as the lay vocation arm of the Church, a title given the organization by the Holy Father,” said Bishop Cupich, who serves as episcopal adviser to the USA Council of Serra International.

“(Serrans are) the first ones to hit the ground with regard to caring about vocations as keeping it on the front burner of the Church’s agenda. I grew up with Serrans in the seminary who were always very present in Omaha to me and they made an enormous difference and just by being present and encouraging,” he added.

Serra has clubs in Fort Wayne and South Bend.

The monstrance is one of six blessed by the late Pope John Paul II to promote Eucharistic adoration during the 2004-2005 Year of the Eucharist declared by him in October of 2004. In the U.S., the traveling monstrance program proved so popular that its tour has been extended well beyond its original October 2005 end date.

In addition to the U.S. and Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific each received a monstrance as a symbol of the connection between the sacrament of the Eucharist and priestly vocations.

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