Rorate Caeli

Congregation for the Clergy
on Perpetual Adoration
for the Sanctification of Priests and Holy Vocations

A great letter by Cardinal Hummes, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, to all Bishops of the world.
Your Excellency,

there are really many things to be done for the true good of the Clergy and for the fecundity of the pastoral ministry in today’s circumstances, but precisely because of this - though with the firm determination to face such challenges without avoiding difficulties and efforts, with the awareness that action follows being and that the soul of every apostolate is divine intimacy - we intend to start from a spiritual movement that, leading to an increasing awareness of the ontological link between Eucharist and Priesthood, and of the special maternity of Mary towards all Priests, may give life to a “roped party” of perpetual adoration for the reparation of faults and sanctification of priests. as well as for the prompting of a commitment on the part of consecrated feminine souls, so that - on the typology of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the High and Eternal Priest, and Associate in his work of Redemption - they will wish to spiritually adopt priests in order to help them with their self-offering, prayer, and penance.


Thereby – and precisely because of the place occupied and the role performed by the Most Holy Virgin in salvation history – we intend, in a very particular way, to entrust all Priests to Mary, the Mother of the High and Eternal Priest, bringing about in the Church a movement of prayer, putting continual eucharistic adoration throughout the 24 hours at the centre, so that a prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, praise, petition, and reparation, will always be raised to God, incessantly from every corner of the earth, with the primary aim of awakening a sufficient number of holy vocations to the priestly state and, at the same time, spiritually accompanying. with a kind of spiritual maternity – at the level of the Mystical Body – all those who have already been called to the ministerial priesthood and are ontologically conformed to the one High and Eternal priest, so that they will serve Him and their brethren better and better, as those who, at one and the same time, are “in” the Church but also “facing” the Church standing in Christ’s stead and representing Him, as head, shepherd and spouse of the Church (cfr PdV n. 16).

We are asking, therefore, all diocesan Ordinaries who perceive in a special way the specificity and irreplaceability of the ordained ministry in the life of the Church, together with the urgency of a common action in favour of the ministerial priesthood, to become an active part and promote – in the different portions of the People of God entrusted to them - , veritable cenacles in which clerics, religious and lay people - united among themselves in the spirit of true communion - devote themselves to prayer, in the form of continual eucharistic adoration, , also in the spirit of genuine and real reparation and purification. For that purpose, we enclose a leaflet that aims at a better understanding of the nature of the initiative, and a form to kindly fill out and send back to this Congregation if there is the intention – as we hope - to adhere, in the spirit of faith, to the project that has been introduced here.

May Mary, Mother of the one, Eternal and High Priest, bless this initiative, and may she intercede before God, asking for an authentic renewal of priestly life, taking as a model the only possible one: Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd!

I greet you cordially in the Bond of ecclesial communion with feelings of profound collegial affection.

Cláudio Card. Hummes
Mauro Piacenza
From the Vatican, 8 December 2007
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V. Mary

Read also:

Source: Congregation for the Clergy


  1. Anonymous10:21 PM

    This from a former RAD liberal like Hummes, who only last year whined that optional celibacy for priests might be a good idea????? AMAZING TURNAROUND.

    Also a fantastic letter. It sounds like a wonderful statement we would have heard from this office before Vatican II.
    Benedict XVI must be having a good influence on Cardinal Hummes!!!!!

    Congratulations Hummes. You're a Catholic after all.

  2. Anonymous11:15 PM

    Truly we are seeing great times. This has brought tears to my eyes, what CHARITY we see from our Holy Father Pope Benedict.

    Let us all, priests and laymen, join with our Bishops (and pray for them) as they accept the Church's request to foster vocation before the very Throne of Grace, most especially in this sceptred, yet benighted, isle of England, joining our voices with theirs, in perfect union with the Sovereign Pontiff, to the intercessions of Mary Immaculate to her Divine Son exposed on our altars.

  3. Anonymous11:21 PM

    It's a great letter, but as a Brazilian who was a faithful from Cardinal Hummes in São Paulo, I'm sure that he isn't able to write this. Someone must have written that and he just signed... and I think that he haven't read it.

  4. Anonymous12:30 AM

    So, anonymous, are you saying his letter was actually written by some supernatural agency, a saint or angel or even the Holy Spirit Himself? ;-)

    Never underestimate the power of God and the power of prayer to touch and convert a human heart.

  5. Anonymous12:38 AM

    I agree from Anonomous from Brazil.
    This is the last type of letter I would have expected from a known radical like Hummes.
    Just last year he was whinning that maybe the Church should consider making celebacy optional. Then when He got to his new Rome post, he probably got the lecture of his life from excellent Pope Benedict XVI.
    Pope Benedict XVI must be having a good influence on him....or he must be told to write something wonderful like this....because this is the last thing I'd expect from Hummes.
    If he's had a conversion to the Catholic Truth, then I would say to him "Congratulations"!

  6. "[T]he Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the High and Eternal Priest, and Associate in his work of Redemption..."

    I certainly agree that we are truly seeing great times. I read this to be His Eminence endorsing the co-redemption of Our Lady.

    We can truly have much Hope during this great season of Advent. The Holy Father will lead the Church to great things if the Good Lord gives him the time.

  7. Anonymous3:17 AM

    Don Bosco vision seems so apt

    "Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers his ship safely between the two columns and moors it to the two columns; first to the one surmounted by the Host, and then to the other, topped by the statue of the Virgin. At this point something unexpected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and scuttling each other. Some auxiliary ships which had gallantly fought alongside their flagship are the first to tie up at the two columns.

    "Many others, which had fearfully kept far away from the fight, stand still, cautiously waiting until the wrecked enemy ships vanish under the waves. Then, they too head for the two columns, tie up at the swinging hooks, and ride safe and tranquil beside their flagship. A great calm now covers the sea."

  8. Anonymous3:52 AM

    Spectacular. Somebody in Rome clearly "gets it."

  9. With all love and reverence for the irreplaceably real presence of Our Lord in the most Blessed Sacrament, more time spent in a closet-like chapel (which is what most parishes have now), isn't going to increase vocations. A strongly renewed and substantially improved liturgical life in the full view of the people of God is what is going to increase Vocations. This letter sounds very well, but isn't going to make much difference. Christ in the Holy Mass is the vocation maker. Don't get me wrong, I don't for a minute think that this is going to hurt, how could it. But it's not the right medicine for the illness that ails vocations.

  10. Maybe Archbishop Secretary Piacenza (one of the most brilliant rising stars in today's Curia, and a direct Siri's pupil) wrote signed it, and Card. Hummes signed it too...

    Hope in two years Mons. Piacenza will become Prefect for the Clergy or, even better, Prefect for the Bishops, replacing Card. Re .

    (Both Re and Hummes will turn 75 in 2009 . As for Ranjit replacing Arinze -75 now- , I think the thing will be of course on the shorter term.)

  11. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Ma Tucker,

    I totally agree, Benedict XVI is the pope forseen by our great Don Bosco!

    Now may he fulfill that other prophecy of the Saint, who say the white haired Pope return to St. Peter's, clothed with the ancient vestments, intone the Te Deum and restore the Ancient Liturgy upon the Altar of St. Peter to the rejoicing of the faithful and all the Angels of Heaven!!!!!!!!!

  12. Deo Gratias!

    I have been involved in the apostolate for adoration for over 12 years. Many tears there. No priests, deacons or sisters will come. And the adorers are aging and there is no one to replace them. WE have adoration on Wednesday afternoons and on Friday evenings. All completely lay run.

    With a new bishop coming, may a new day dawn with the SON of God as the center.

  13. Anonymous4:30 PM

    Hebdomadary: We have had pepetual adoration for over 10 years at our liberal parish. The pastor started it after seeing it's affects in another parish. Then he left. There have beens some threats and until lately no support from the pulpit or participation by the current pastor or deacons, but it continued and gradually our parish has changed. It's still liberal, but much better with more orthodox liturgy and preaching. Where is the power to transform the liturgy to come? The popes have asked for many years. It will come from Chirst after prayer - much prayer -and prayer in adoration is most effective.

  14. Anonymous, I hope you're right.

  15. Anonymous5:25 PM


    The people will want more reverent liturgy when they realize what the Eucharist actually is, no? An intense and personal devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, which so easily springs from the intimate chapels you called closets, is the soil in which further liturgical reform takes root. Afterall, elaborate ceremony first grew out of the experience of the Eucharist.

    It's true that "the devout people" can't be segregated off into their own "special room" and that devotion to Jesus in the Sacrament should, must, spread to public liturgy. But people give their lives to Jesus because of their close intimacy with Him as God made Man, Savior and Friend. No time spent with Him, one-on-one, is ever, ever, ever, ever fruitless.

  16. Anonymous7:27 PM

    You wouldn't read it for style, would you?

  17. Another way to make reparation to Our Lord is by doing the Holy Hour of Reparation at home each week or month.

    Members of our Immaculate Heart of Mary Fraternity are doing this much needed act of love in this time of abomination.

  18. Anonymous6:11 PM

    So it turns out that the pope must have known something about Hummes that we didn't. What a radical concept.


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