St. Ann Church in Nashville, along with the Nashville chapter of Regnum Christi, will host a 40 hours devotion to pray for priests. The event is open to everyone in the Diocese of Nashville.
The 40 hours devotion will begin at 5:45 p.m. Friday, March 3, with Stations of the Cross and will end with a Solemn Mass at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 5.
The 40 hours devotion consists of 40 continuous hours of Eucharistic Adoration, followed by a Solemn Mass and benediction. This is most often done during Advent and Lent, especially as a way of making reparations for sin. But St. Ann is doing it as a way to pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and to support our current diocesan priests.
“Regnum Christi Nashville first brought the idea to us in Lent of 2021,” said Mandi Pitt-Reed, director of faith formation, RCIA, and youth ministry at St. Ann. “They had been doing a monthly adoration for vocations, and they wanted to hold the 40 Hours as a way to get the whole community involved in praying for the vocations of the priests in our diocese.
“We wanted to support priests in a spiritual and material way, which is why we’ve offered cards each year for the faithful to write notes of prayer and encouragement to our diocesan priests,” Pitt-Reed said. “Last year we sent a card to every single priest in the diocese letting him know he was prayed for during our devotional time.”
“We have had a partnership with Regnum Christi for several years here at St. Ann, hosting the monthly adoration for vocations first, and then the morning of reflection each month, as well as events like the 40 Hours and Advent by Candlelight,” Pitt-Reed added. “Suzanne McDevitt is the current leader of Regnum Christi Nashville, along with her husband John, who ministers primarily to the men of Regnum Christi. John is also our Liturgical Coordinator here at St. Ann, so we have a great partnership with the McDevitts and with Regnum Christi as a whole.”
Praying for our diocesan priests is important, Pitt-Reed said. “Our priests bring us Jesus. The priesthood was instituted by Christ for the celebration of the holy sacrifice of the Mass, and to bring Christians the graces God wants us to have through the sacraments,” she said.
“We know that priests have supernatural support through our Heavenly Father and the saints, especially the Blessed Virgin Mary, but they need support from the community as well,” Pitt-Reed said. “One thing I’ve personally been convinced of in the past several years is that our priests need our prayers, our support, and our friendship. They experience an ontological change through the sacrament of holy orders, but they are still human beings like us lay people. I firmly believe that they need our love, support, and prayers, and they need to be aware of this support as well, as they persist in their vocation.”
She strongly encourages everyone to participate. “Nothing can replace time spent with Jesus. A holy hour is a beautiful way to immerse yourself in the Blessed Sacrament and to grow in your own faith. Offering that Holy Hour for the intentions of our priests is even more special. Praying for our priests makes me feel a connection with God and with the Church in a way that is unique to that activity alone,” she said.
“We are inviting the faithful to commit to an hour or more of adoration during the 40 Hours. We will have note cards on hand, but they are welcome to bring their own. We typically print a list of all our diocesan priests if adorers want to choose a priest that they don’t know, and we also welcome adorers to write cards for their own parish priests, priests who’ve meant a great deal to them, priests who’ve witnessed their marriage, baptized their children, etc.”
To sign up to pray during the devotion, visit saintannparish.com/vac.