A Traveling Chalice program is one easy way to help parishioners pray for vocations. In this program, a family or individual receives a chalice at the end of Mass. They take the chalice to their home to display, praying for vocations throughout the week. They can write down any prayer intentions or share reflections on their time with the chalice in an optional prayer journal. Before the following weekend's liturgies, they return the chalice to the parish. You can find out more about this program through Serra International: Traveling Chalice/Crucifix Program for the Parish (serraspark.org).
Many parishes already have some version of the Traveling Chalice program active or have had one in the past. Since summer is a great time to plan for a Fall launch, here are some considerations for having a Traveling Chalice program in your Family of Parishes.
Consider your Family of Parish’s needs when determining where to house the chalice. You may choose to have one Traveling Chalice program at each site, with a coordinator to send reminder phone calls or answer questions. Your FOP may want to rotate between the different sites, mass times, etc. You also may wish to pray for the family or individual who has the Traveling Chalice in your Family's prayer intentions that week at each site.
Including a prayer journal serves as a "guest book" that accompanies the chalice from home to home. In this book, people can write specific prayer requests or anything meaningful from their experience. Consider including an additional form that people can write down their prayer requests. They can then turn in the form when they return the Traveling Chalice; share the forms with your intercessory prayer team to hold up in prayer. You also want to follow up with a thank you note to those who have hosted the chalice. This effort lets them know that their willingness to participate in the Traveling Chalice program is appreciated and may encourage them to continue praying for vocations.
Include the Year of Priestly Vocations Prayer Card with your Traveling Chalice. In the coming months, we will have a prayer book available for download that you may choose to include with your Traveling Chalice.
This effort and our other vocation initiatives help us bring awareness about vocations and allow people to listen to what the Lord is calling them. Recalling the words of St. John Paul II, we can see that the parish has a unique role to play in this effort:
"There is a pressing need to implement an extensive plan of vocational promotion, based on personal contact and involving parishes, schools, and families in the effort to foster a more attentive reflection on the essential values of life. These values reach their fulfilment in the response which each person is invited to give to God's call, particularly when the call implies the total gift of oneself and of one's energies for the sake of the Kingdom" (Novo millennio ineunte, 46)