Prayer and the Priesthood – Updated

An update, with a video of a priest, Fr. Michael Rodriguez, defending the position of the Church on the definition of marriage at a city council meeting in El Paso, Texas:

h/t Father Z (follow the link for another video of the same priest celebrating Mass).

Let us continue to pray for our priests, that they may always remain close to the font of wisdom that comes from the Lord. And from this union with Him, they will be filled with holy courage to speak the truth with love so to strengthen the whole family of God.

If you so desire, a novena for priests.

Prayer is our only defense. Let us persevere in it.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, hear our prayers.


Today began as one of those days where I wanted to shout (actually, I did!) halleluiahs in answer to prayers for a priest. Today ended, tainting that joy with the announcement of John Corapi, that he would no longer be an active priest. But first the good news:

A friend and I have been praying for months for a particular priest, who, coming into a new parish found his orthodoxy was not well received. He is a young, yet experienced priest placed in a little parish in an obscure town that has not had a permanent priest in six years…we were praying in hope that he wouldn’t be another transient priest, but would have the strength to endure the poorly catechized parishioners, and stay for the long haul. Today was a defining moment for him.

Today, was the first time after months of structural repairs to the Church, it was re-opened for the celebration of the Mass. Parishioners came in, almost falling over themselves with the immediate realization that the Tabernacle was no longer on the side, but was front and center below the life-size Crucifix. He explained in his homily how in role of Pastor he must call his flock to the Shepherd by orienting them to Jesus Christ, both Jesus on the Cross, and Jesus truly present in the Holy Eucharist.  He pointed to the fact that he had uncluttered the sanctuary, leaving nothing but the essentials (Cross and Tabernacle), explaining how our lives are so cluttered, and how in all the clutter we have, we get disoriented from what is important. Pointing again to Jesus on the Cross and in the Tabernacle he said, “This is what is important. This is what we are here for.”

My heart carries praise to God for this sign — this wonderful sign — of the priesthood.


As night approached, and I was finishing some last communications, I saw the “announcement” from Father (now Mister) John Corapi, “I’m not going to be involved in ministry as a priest any longer…”

Many others are reporting on this, but in light of my experience earlier today, I ask that we all pray for him. Having heard his conversion story many years ago at our Parish mission, his announcement today sounded as a denouncement of that story. His conversion story was one filled with grace and gratitude…I can’t say the same with his latest. This incongruent message leads me to pray. Let us pray for John Corapi. Let us pray for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) to which he belongs. Let us pray for the Church leadership who are involved in the investigation. Let us pray for all who have benefited through the years from Corapi’s homilies and catechetical messages, that they will not be harmed or scandalized.

In the Gospel of  Luke, Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, behold Satan desired to have you that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 23:31ff)

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus, you have chosen your priests from among us and sent them out to proclaim your word and to act in your name. For so great a gift to your Church, we give you praise and thanksgiving. We ask you to fill them with the fire of your love, that their ministry may reveal your presence in the Church.

Since they are earthen vessels, we pray that your power shine out throught their weakness.

In their afflictions let them never be crushed;
in their doubts never despair;
in temptation never be destroyed;
in persecution never abandoned.

Inspire them through prayer to live each day the mystery of your dying and rising. In times of weakness send them your Spirit, and help them to praise your heavenly Father and pray for poor sinners. By the same Holy Spirit put your words on their lips and your love in their hearts, to bring good news to the poor and healing to the brokenhearted. And may the gift of Mary your mother, to the disciple whom you loved, be your gift to every priest. Grant that she who formed you in her human image, may form them in your divine image, by the power of your Spirit, to the glory of God the Father.  Amen.


UPDATE: What Priests are Saying:

Fr. Joseph Jenkins asks, Black Sheep Dog or Black Wolf?

 reflects On the Bigger Issue

Father Zuhlsdorf shares some observations about our times, and about Corapi’s mortal soul.

Other bloggers offering prayers:

Deacon Bill at Deacons Today: Dalmatics and Beyond encourages us to pray.

Gerard M. Nadal at Coming Home extends a message to Fr Corapi, and No Room for Black Sheepdogs.

Ancient Soul: Hold FATHER Corapi (once a priest ALWAYS a priest) in prayer.

Other Commentary: has a roundup of to-date commentary.

The Anchoress has a good list of other commentary, and updated.

Deacon Greg also has a list of blog comentary and updated.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS  is leaving room pondering, could it be a hoax, now that it’s not a hoax .

20 thoughts on “Prayer and the Priesthood – Updated

    • Let us remain united in prayer that he too will come back to the fold. There is something going on that I don’t think any of us can understand right now. That is why we must pray fervently for him, and for all priests who struggle with their obedience to the Church. May the Lord bless you abundantly, Lou!

      • Sister, This was the most even-headed, well thought out comment I have read on the subject. Pray for Fr. Corapi. We don’t know the circumstances under which he made his decision, and whom among us has not thought that SOMEONE must take a stand against the present rounding up of priests upon the mere say so of others? I have a feeling Fr. Corapi has always been a maverick, and I am hoping again that he leads the way. We Catholics have an aversion to waiting……..why is that?
        Black Sheep Dog or Maverick, he is the same Fr. Corapi we know and love. Let’s give it some time-time to pray.
        Thank you Sister.

  1. Whatever happened to the words: “Surrender is not an option.”
    I have clung to those words many many times in my life.
    They are still real for me and he will always be in my heart and prayers.

    • Thank you, Susan (It’s wonderful to find your post on my blog – it’s been a while since Rome!). Yes, we are called to be steadfast in the situations of our life; to not change our life-commitments because things look very dour. We must pray for fortitude in our daily living out our baptismal call. Let us unite our prayers especially for our priests and religious who are struggling with the commitments to God.

  2. And may the Lord also bless you abundantly, Sr. Lisa. I just happened to come across your blog today and find it truly calming, inspirational and thoughtful. I too came back to the fold after some 30 years away. It happened with the help of a wonderful nun who encouraged me to find the truth, and in doing so, I found my way back to the Church.

  3. […] that I thought might be of interest to you readers.  And a blogger friend of mine sent me this article from Nunspeak which also discusses this recent Father Corapi news, but in a much different tone than the one on […]

  4. Thank you Sister for your prayerful support for the priesthood. Each year a global Lay Fast Day for Priests is held in which our lay brothers and sisters join in a common day of prayer and fasting. Tens of thousands of lay members of the Church have participated in the Lay Fast. This year’s Lay Fast will take place on Saturday, 22 October 2011. More details on this year’s Lay Fast can be found on the website God bless, Anna and the Lay Fast team.

  5. Thank you for this thoughtful call to prayer for Fr. Corapi. Satan has indeed attacked a great priest who has inspired many to return to the Church. IMO the people judging Fr. Corapi harshly think that he’s superhuman instead of human. He called people to fight against Satan and all of his evil works but when one is falsely accused (which is what I am suspecting and will until proven otherwise) of an impropriety or something else it can take a huge toll on both their physical and spiritual being. I was falsely accused by a prominent, conservative Catholic college so when I heard him speak on the Youtube video I could understand and feel his pain as he spoke his words. I struggled for a long while with what happened to me but in some ways it made me stronger in my faith. My thoughts and prayers are with him, and hopefully he will remain a priest or return to the priesthood.

  6. Dear Sister Lisa, thank you for your words of wisdom. None of us knows what is really happening. We can only speculate and that is a waste of time. Instead, we should pray, pray, pray for our priests. If only we all would take the time to understand the identity and dignity of the priesthood, there would be more prayer for them and thanksgiving to the Eternal Father for giving us these representatives through His Beloved Son. Since I noticed you have Spiritual Motherhood on your blog, I would like to ask you to pray for 59 women who will publicly declare life-long promises to God to pray for all priests but most especially spiritually adopting a priest-son. With our Bishop’s approval, these promises will take place on Friday, July 1st, 2011, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. Our Patroness is Our Lady of Sorrows. May our hearts be united to them always as we embark on a journey with our crucified Lord through the sorrowful heart of Mother Mary. This is in response to the Vatican document of Dec. 8, 2007, “Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity”. Most people probably do not know about this humble document. May the Lord shed light on the whole world this most important movement. I also would like to share the following with you. Last night, my husband and I watched the beautiful movie on St. Josephine Bakhita. I had heard about her but never knew the whole story. Well, we were both so emotional throughout her whole story. She is so beautiful. However, I have never heard of the Canossian Sisters. After the movie, I looked it up pn the internet and was touched. Here I am tonight, reading your words of wisdom on your blog, re Fr. Corapi, and you are a Canossian Sister. Perhaps it was St. Bakhita because of her love, her mercy, and her forgiveness that brought me to your blog. Praise God. I truly believe in God’s greatest attribute too….MERCY. Thanks again Sister Lisa, and I will pray for you too as you continue your journey that God has entrusted to you. Graces and blessings, Maria (Canada)

    • Dear Maria, Thank you for your comments, and yes, I will pray through the intercession of our Lady of Sorrows (our Patroness as well!) to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the 59 women dedicating themselves to prayer for our dear priests! It is true, Priesthood is an immeasurable gift to Mother Church, for the good of souls. We must remind ourselves that they are human, yet they are entrusted with much. And for this reason, we must keep them constantly in our prayers that they do no succumb to temptations. I will definitely unite my intentions with all of yours!

      Saint Josephine Bakhita is truly a beautiful soul. The movie accurately depicts her virtue, even though some of the situations are fictitious. I have seen it twice, and her virtue moves me to desire to pursue holy virtue in my own life as well. And, the fact she led you to know more about us Canossian Sisters is very touching! I do appreciate very much your prayers for me, and please, also for my Religious Canossian Family. (Note, the medallion worn by our Foundress, St Magdalene of Canossa, in the picture is that of Our Lady of Sorrows). God bless you!

  7. I say “Good for you Father Corapi!!!” You are one of the few priests who actually ministers to the Church as a good servant of the Most high by watching over his bride the Church. You know that the Church is his bride and this is why we are “HIS BODY” —not that we have surplanted his place but we are united to him in the eternal wedding. May God Bless You for your efforts.

  8. I am so sad. I looked forward every Saturday eve to hearing and seeing Fr. Corapi on EWTN. My tears and dried but my heart still aches. Come back Fr. Corapi

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