Bringing Us Jesus, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests


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 through 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 word on their lips and your love in their hearts, to bring good news to the poor and healing to the broken-hearted.

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

~Archdiocese of Boston web site.

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Mother Bailey’s Kitchen


She preferred to be called Mother Bailey. She was a stately Scottish woman; tall and handsome with wild blonde-gray hair that no matter how desperately she tried to secure it, frizzed and blew in all directions. Her eyes were a steely-blue and reminded me of thin ice over a lake. Much like her homeland she was rugged and sturdy.

Though she gave an air of fixed and singular determination, she was known for her wicked sense of humor that was subtle and witty. I was often a recipient of this humor and rarely caught on until I saw the glint in her eyes. She seemed to draw delight in my simple trusting nature.

Mother Bailey was a devout Presbyterian and followed the rules of her church, one of which she believed included frugality. She wasted nothing and bordered on the edge of hoarding, except that she willingly gave away whatever she had.

She lived in Pennsylvania with her English Cocker Spaniel named Tillie, also a blonde. This particular area of Pennsylvania reminded her of home; hilly, rocky, windswept and a neighborhood clannish in nature. Her only frustration with the region was her inability to grow a decent patch of heather in the garden. I wondered if this inability was due more to the activities of her energetic dog than the environment. Whenever we would walk about the sloping gardens, care would need to be taken so as not to sprain an ankle in one of the many digs Tillie left behind.

Listening to Mother Bailey talk gave rise to wonder and curiosity about her native land. Her tongue would roll and lilt as she spoke of land and sea. Words like glens and straths or firths and links peppered her descriptions. I would set a mental note to check the encyclopedias when I got home.

Being Scottish, and as I mentioned, frugal in every regard, Mother Bailey repurposed everything—long before it was fashionable. And her home reflected this habit, especially her kitchen. It was a galley style kitchen with one end open to the central hallway and the other open to the dining area with a half-wall counter dividing the room.

Every surface, shelf and ledge were filled to capacity with half-hazard stacks categorically organized. A colorful mountain of seasonal and holiday napkins, some only slightly used, spilled over onto the canning jars filled with plastic cutlery—being utilized more frequently than the drawer of pristine flatware.

The white porcelain enamelware table, with red edged extender leaves and chrome legs, bore the brunt of the stacking. Only a small half-moon space at the front edge of the leaf remained open for her to work. The organized clutter sloped up and away to rest against the gold floral papered wall.

Boxes of loose tea and half used tea-balls rested nearest the front. Emptied bread bags lay half folded under the casual mound of English muffins, bannock cakes, and partial loaves of assorted breads. Cartons and cans filled the remaining space in an uphill climb with the summit of the pile stacked with steel cut oats imported from Scotland. Mother Bailey was a bit of a snob when it came to her beloved oats.

When I had come to visit her one afternoon, she had intended to make chowder for our ‘sup’. With bacon fat leftover from breakfast, she sautéed the onions as we talked. A barely concealed fear of a kitchen fire raced through my thoughts as I observed the nearness of her stacks to the lighted range. Rummaging through the cans on the counter to her right she pulled out whole corn and from the freezer a bag of lima beans. Opening them she added them to the pot. I had not eaten limas before and asked if they were like navy or black beans. “Tis neither” was all she said while dipping a wooden spoon into the stock, pulling up a plump green lima for me to taste. I enjoyed its creaminess, like butter wrapped in a pale green skin.

Mother Bailey explained that succotash was a baked dish of corn, limas and evaporated milk. She had adapted the ingredients to make chowder, “for the soups are healthier you know.” A practical woman, she often used boxed potato flakes when she had no leftover mashed. This is an adaptation of her recipe, God rest her soul.

 Succotash Chowder

4 strips thick bacon, diced, fried and drained, reserving about 1 tbl. of the grease

1 medium onion, diced

30-36 oz. chicken broth (2 large cartons or cans) or equivalent using bouillon paste

¼ tsp celery seed

¼ tsp thyme

10 oz. frozen lima beans (or canned, drained)

10 oz. frozen whole kernel corn (or canned drained), or for a sweeter chowder use corn stripped from the cob

1-1 ¼ c. potato flakes, or equivalent leftover mashed thinned with some of the milk

1 c  half-and-half, or  equivalent whole milk (do not use skim or low fat) mixed with a small can of evaporated milk

Pepper to taste 

Cook the bacon bits until well done but not overly hard. In soup kettle add the bacon drippings and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the broth, celery seed, thyme, limas and corn. Boil gently for 15 minutes. Whisk into soup the milk and potatoes. Add bacon bits. Add pepper to taste and simmer until thickened.

I usually use leftover mashed potatoes for this chowder. I find that boxed potatoes work very well to thicken up a soup, but use them in moderation for you can quickly wind up with a succotash mud. You can also use corn starch to thicken.

Enjoy…or as Mother Baily would say, “mealtainn!

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In Piercing Sickness, Prayer for Sisters and Nuns


Beloved Mother Mary, we ask that you enter the hearts of our Sisters and Nuns and console them in their sickness.

Give them strength to face the sicknesses that pierce our bodies: cancers, viruses, the diseases of heart and lungs. Give them courage to face the illnesses that impair our minds and rob us of thought: Alzheimer, strokes, and others that diminish our ability to perceive the world. In their time of physical trials there may be fear, resentments, confusion or doubts and a weakening of faith as they themselves become weaker.

Cradle them Mother in your arms, give solace to their aching hearts, lessen their disappointment in their infirmities, guide them to pray more deeply in their sufferings.

We ask all this in Jesus name. Amen.

Image by Tesa Robbins from Pixabay 

To Follow the Lord, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests


Lord Jesus, once you called the first disciples in order to make them fishers of men.  Continue to let resound today your sweet invitation:  “Come and follow Me.”

Grant to young men the grace of responding promptly to your voice. Sustain our bishops, priests and consecrated souls in their apostolic work. 

Give perseverance to our seminarians and to all those who are fulfilling the ideal of a life of total consecration to your service. Enkindle in our communities a missionary zeal. 

Send, Lord, workers into your fields and do not let mankind be lost because of a lack of pastors, missionaries and people dedicated to the cause of the Gospel. 

Mary, Mother of the Church, model of vocations, help us say “yes” to the Lord who calls us to collaborate in the divine design of salvation.  Amen.

~Pope St. John Paul II

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Saint Kentigerna, Pray for our Sisters and Nuns


Saint Kentigerna feast day is January 7. She was born of royal Irish blood,  married, and had a son — Saint Fillan.  Widowed, she moved to Scotland in with her son and brother Saint Comgan, to preach the Gospel and evangelize in parts of the country that were still pagan. Eventually she settled at Strathfillan,  and in time became an anchoress on Inchebroida Island in Loch Lomond.

Saint Kentigerna, you sought Christ and surrendered all in his name to evangelize and following the will of God, eventually becoming an anchoress; a calling of devout prayer in a solitary life.

We ask you to pray for our holy women that they too feel secure in their calling wherever it may lead,  confident in their prayers, and resolve in their commitment to serve Our God in the way he has chosen for them.

We ask all this in Jesus name.


Image by szerdiniki from Pixabay .com.