Proud of Our Priests! Team Runs Marine Corps Marathon to Support Catholic Vocations

October 25, 2002

One local group added an extra boost to its training for this year’s Marine Corps Marathon: prayers for priests. The Priest’s Heart Team of 25 priests, seminarians and lay people is running the Marathon to raise awareness, prayers and funds for priestly vocations in the Archdiocese of Washington.

Team members will meet Sunday, October 27, 8:00 a.m., at the Bell Tower, near the race’s starting point, for a pre-race prayer. Several will wear t-shirts reading, “Proud of Our Priests,” a theme chosen by the runners to show their support for Catholic priests during what has been a very difficult year for priests and for the Catholic Church in general. They also want to encourage men to consider the priesthood.

Supporters will stand along the course holding signs that say, “Priest’s Heart Team,” “Proud of Our Priests” and “Enjoy,” and will distribute cards that read in part, “We hope and pray that this sign of our gratitude will encourage more young men to answer God’s call to priesthood. We need more priests!”

The idea for the Priest’s Heart Team grew out of the interest of several lay people and former archdiocesan vocations director and marathon runner, Father Bill Parent, who saw similarities in the qualities of discipline, commitment and sacrifice required of marathoners and of priests.

The vocations picture in the Archdiocese of Washington is hopeful. This year, 54 men are studying for the priesthood in the archdiocese. Fifteen of these men entered the seminary this fall – the largest number in 20 years – and ten seminarians are on track to be ordained priests next spring.

Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
[email protected]