From Padre Pio, recounting the words of Christ to him in a vision:
"On Friday morning [28 March 1913] while I was still in bed, Jesus appeared to me. He was in a sorry state and quite disfigured. He showed me a great multitude of priests, regular and secular, among whom were several high ecclesiastical dignitaries. Some were celebrating Mass, while others were vesting or taking off the sacred vestments. The sight of Jesus in distress was very painful to me, so I asked him why he was suffering so much. There was no reply, but his gaze turned on those priests. Shortly afterwards, as if terrified and weary of looking at them, he withdrew his gaze. Then he raised his eyes and looked at me and to my great horror I observed two tears coursing down his cheeks. He drew back from that crowd of priests with an expression of great disgust on his face and cried out: "Butchers!" Then turning to me he said: "My son, do not think that my agony lasted three hours. No, on account of the souls who have received most from me, I shall be in agony until the end of the world. During my agony, my son, nobody should sleep. My soul goes in search of a drop of human compassion but alas, I am left alone beneath the weight of indifference. The ingratitude and the sleep of my ministers makes my agony all the more grievous.
"Alas, how little they correspond to my love! What afflicts me most is that they add contempt and unbelief to their indifference. Many times I have been on the point of annihilating them, had I not been held back by the Angels and by souls who are filled with love for me. Write to your (spiritual) father and tell him what you have seen and heard from me this morning. Tell him to show your letter to Father Provincial ...45"
Announcing the foundation of The Liguori Society, an association of faithful Catholic young men of high school and college age for the purpose of prayer, work for and discernment of priestly vocations. Everyone is either called to a priestly vocation or knows someone who is. Young men are ideally situated for this apostolate and the Liguori Society, named for the patron of priestly vocations, positions them to pursue this important work for Christ in a better way.
Those who have previously taken the role of altar servers are especially encouraged to consider this apostolate. Just as all young men are encouraged to discern their vocation whatever it might be, so the members of the Society need not be convinced of their own calling to the priesthood in order to enter. They must, however, be open to the possibility that they might be called to the priesthood just as much as to marriage or consecrated single life.
Prospective members must be at least of high school age and not married, currently attending Sunday Mass and otherwise seeking to live the precepts of the Church, and willing to pray for and encourage vocations to the priesthood while discerning their own call whatever it might be.
Prospective members must make their request to enter through a current member, the Priest Servant or priest associates of The Society. The first step after requesting entrance is to read a short biography of St Alphonsus Liguori, the patron of the Society. The candidate then writes a two-page maximum reflection on a virtue or quality of the life of the holy patron which makes him a good example for encouraging priestly vocations and explains how the candidate might put that virtue or quality to work in his own life for the same purpose.
Induction of new members is to be celebrated during a holy Mass marking the feast of the Society to be offered on or near the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori on August 1 each year. Interested parents and adults may request to become prayer supporters of the Society by offering their weekly Mass and other prayers for the intentions of the Society.
The prayer of the members seeks its basis in a weekly rosary in private or in common and Sunday Mass. Invocation of the Society's patron is to be included in the praying of the Rosary and at Mass thus: "St Alphonsus Liguori, patron of priestly vocations, pray for us". Parish liturgies, to include Eucharistic adoration, should be sought out as especially fruitful opportunities for prayer.
The works of the Society, beyond the keeping of the Commandments and the precepts of the Church include, but are not limited to, each member inviting a peer to attend the yearly vocation dinners and also to make an effort to attend the diocesan priestly ordinations as a group each Spring. Charitable works of the society will include, but are not limited to, visiting retired priests at least once a year during the Christmas season.
The pastor or parochial vicar should be invited to serve as chaplain to the Society. The continuance of the Society, however, as an association of the faithful does not depend upon an actively serving chaplain.
The uniform of the members is the black cassock and surplice for service on the altar at holy Mass, and other liturgies, and a coat and tie for Mass when not serving on the altar.
Members will seek out opportunities to spend social time with each other such as attending and participating in parish events. Any group events outside of parish life will be conducted with at least one parent, priest or designated adult present.
This constitution and any aspect of the Society may be changed at any time for the sake of more perfect obedience to the Magisterium of the universal Church.
Starting a chapter of TLS in your parish? Please send photos and news to mcitl DOT blogspot DOT com AT gmail DOT com.