Our Primary Patron is Our Lady Queen of Apostles. Four hundred years ago in Quito she pleaded with us to restore the spirit of her priests: “Pray earnestly, implore tirelessly, weep bitter tears in the seclusion of your heart, beseeching the Eucharistic heart of my Son to take pity on His ministers and to end as soon as possible these unhappy times.”
St. Therese of Lisieux (Secondary Patron)
The principal aim of the Reform of Carmel is devotion to prayer for preachers and theologians. Thérese was puzzled by this need to pray for the souls of priests whom “I believed to be as pure as crystal.”
Following a trip to Italy, before she entered Carmel, she fully understood the necessity of such prayer for the souls of priests who she described as “weak and fragile men.” If holy priests, whom Jesus in His Gospel calls the “salt of the earth,” show in their conduct their extreme need for prayers, what is to be said of those who are tepid? Didn’t Jesus say too: “If the salt loses its savour, wherewith will it be salted?” (Matthew 5:13)
How beautiful, is the vocation, which has as its aim the preservation of the salt destined for souls! This is Carmel’s vocation since the sole purpose of our prayers and sacrifices is to be the apostle of the apostles. We are to pray for them while they are preaching to souls through their words and especially their example.” (Story of a Soul, p.122)
Prior to her profession, Therese was asked why she entered Carmel. She replied: “I came to save souls and especially to pray for priests.” - STORY OF A SOUL
The Servant of God – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (Secondary Patron)
Referring to Isaiah, Bishop Fulton Sheen reminds priests they are watchmen “who have been put on the walls of the Church by the High priest..What we are,” he says, “the Church is, and what the Church is, the world is.” Because of this, Bishop Sheen lets priests know that many trials will arise for them, and advises:
“When trials arise, we must beg the faithful to fight with us through their prayers. A measure of the value we set on prayer is the insistence with which we ask the flock entrusted to our care to pray for us. It is through their prayers the priest receives from the Spirit whatever he needs...The priest can save souls without eloquence, but he cannot move them without prayer and the Holy Spirit.” – (The Priest is Not His Own)
We priests are not only shepherds, but also lambs. Our Lord Himself is both the the “Good Shepherd” and the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29). As the Offerer, He is the Shepherd. As the offered, He is the Lamb.
The priest playing the role of a shepherd often goes to his death as a lamb. The shepherd who would give more abundant life to the lost sheep is bound to have wolves howling about him and thus be led ultimately to his death.
“Our priesthood is best illumined in the fires of victimhood. We become significant to our fellow men not by being a ‘regular guy’ but by being ‘another Christ,”(Those Mysterious Priests)The parishioners then do not see the human person. The instinct of parishioners is infallible: they know in whom Christ lives. (The Priest is Not His Own)