The traveling chalice at St. Francis de Sales, Abingdon, might not travel much farther than parishioners’ dining room tables, but it’s part of the road to vocations, a road paved with prayer.
At St. Francis de Sales, Abingdon, parish members volunteer to take home the chalice, along with a book of prayers, which is presented to them at one of the weekend Masses.
They keep what’s known as the traveling chalice for a week, and while they have it they offer daily prayers for vocations.
At the end of the week, they return it to church, and another family steps up to take home the chalice and offer their prayers.
“It was an honor to have the chalice in my home for a week,” said parishioner Janet Fischer via e-mail. “The prayers provided were simple and beautiful, but I found myself saying a prayer every time I passed the chalice; my focus for that week was vocations, but it didn’t stop when I returned the chalice. Vocations are in my prayers much more now than before my traveling chalice experience.”
That’s exactly the purpose of the program.
“Some families have held prayer group meetings, while others have left it on their dining room table and made it a topic of discussion for friends and visitors all week. It opens the door to discussing vocations on a family level that probably never would happen without the chalice,” said parishioner Ed Gorbecki via e-mail. “There is a feeling of doing something positive regarding the vocation shortage, and maybe someone will use this experience to have him or her make a decision to follow the call from God.”