For Vocation Directors

#04 Traveling Chalice Program for the Parish

Summary

The Traveling Chalice Program is a simple, effective way to get parishioners directly involved in the vocations effort. (It should be noted that the program can also be done using a crucifix; we shall refer to a chalice here for the purposes of explaining how the program is implemented.)

On Sunday, an individual—or a couple or family—takes the chalice.  This can be done in different ways.  The priest can present the chalice at the end of Mass or the chalice can be picked up in the sacristy after Mass.  The recipient(s) would then take the chalice home with them, put it in a prominent place within their home, and pray every day for vocations over one week's time.  Those participating utilize a 'memory book' to write down their experiences of that week, as well as the prayers that come about as a result; the book then becomes a source for possible members of a special parish vocation team.

A given week's recipient should be reminded to return the chalice to the parish on the Friday following pick-up—or to simply return it before to the correct Mass time on Sunday.  The succeeding recipient should be prompted as to when their turn is coming.

 

Program Outline

• Traveling Chalice Program is simple, effective way to get parishioners directly involved in vocations effort••

• How it is implemented:

• At a Sunday Mass, individual (or couple or family) receives chalice

• Recipient(s) take(s) chalice home with them, put in prominent place, and pray every day for vocations that

  week

• ’Memory book’ is used to write down their experiences during the week / prayers that come about as result

• Book becomes sources for possible members of parish vocation team

• The chalice should be returned to parish office on Friday or to sacristy before Mass on Sunday

 

Implementation

Using Serrans/Volunteers:

  • Secure chalice and kit
  • Schedule families to take the kit
  • Prompting the next family that it’s their turn to take the chalice and memory book

 

 Program History, Development, and Additional Resources

A vocations-promotion endeavor that's been popular for years within parishes around the country, the Traveling Chalice or Crucifix Program is a simple, effective way to get parishioners directly involved in the vocations effort.  It can also be a great way to encourage families to pray together at home.

After Sunday Mass, an individual—or a couple or family—takes the chalice.  Some parishes fasten the chalice in an attractive wood tabernacle to keep it sacred.  The priest can present the chalice at the end of Mass or the chalice can be picked up in the sacristy after Mass. (It should be noted that the program can also be done using a crucifix; we shall refer to a chalice here for the purposes of explaining how the program is implemented.)  The recipient(s) would then take the chalice home with them, put it in a prominent place within the home, and pray every day for vocations over one week's time.  It may represent the first time the topic of vocations has been explored by the recipient(s), and be an important week for the recipient(s).  It presents a good opportunity to invite family and friends to join in sharing and prayer.

Those participating may use a 'memory book' to write down their experiences; the book becomes a source for possible members of a parish vocation team.

A given week's recipient should be reminded to return the chalice to the parish on the Friday following pick-up—or to simply bring it to the sacristy before the scheduled Mass on Sunday.  The succeeding recipient should be prompted as to when their turn is coming.

Establishing a Traveling Chalice Program in your parish is a straightforward matter.  First, obtain the support of the pastor and select a leader to administer the program.  Second, purchase a chalice or obtain a chalice from the parish.  Third, purchase a memory book and vocation prayers—and, if appropriate, a child's Mass kit for families with young children.

An enthusiastic invitation by the pastor is the best way to actually get parishioners started with the program.  The program leader needs to encourage all parishioners to welcome the chalice into their homes.  Sign-up cards can be placed in the pews and in the church vestibule or passed out on donut Sunday.  Where there is a school, an invitation can be sent home with students.  Frequent articles in the church bulletin, a post on the parish website, and a listing in the bulletin of the names of those taking the chalice over the next four weeks are all good steps to keep the program moving forward.

 

Other Resources

Web page from the website of St. Peter Catholic Church (Kirkwood, MO) with a good example of how a Traveling Chalice Program write-up in a 'parish announcements' publication should look; please scroll about halfway down the page to find the write-up:

  http://www.stpeterkirkwood.org/ParishInformation/AnnouncementsBulletin.aspx

 

PDF of a detailed, seven-page summary of a Traveling Chalice Program as administered by the Archdiocese of Newark (NJ); the summary includes prayers for each day of the week during which the recipient has the chalice in their home—as well as discussion questions:

  http://www.newpriestnj.com/uploads/3/4/6/1/34613614/prayer_chalice_program.pdf

 

Online registration form for the Traveling Chalice Program at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (Buffalo, NY); this is a good example of a simple, easy-to-use, online registration form for the program—which would be linked to from the parish's website:

  https://stfrancisxavierbuffalo.wufoo.com/forms/traveling-chalice-program/

PDF of parish bulletin from the Church of St. Albert (Albertville, MN) containing a good example of a parish bulletin summary of the Traveling Chalice Program on page III:

  http://www.churchofstalbert.org/Bulletins/20160821.pdf

 

Article from the Madison Catholic Herald (WI) which details how a group of retirees started a Traveling Chalice Program in their retirement community::

  http://www.madisoncatholicherald.org/news/around-diocese/622-retirees-begin-traveling-

chalice-program-at-all-saints-neighborhood.html

 

Article from Knights of Columbus-Texas State Council website detailing how its Traveling Chalice Program grew rapidly.  They used an interesting case to carry the chalice:

  http://www.tkofc.org/news/v/traveling-chalice

 

Web page of Archdiocese of St. Louis (MO) with an invitation from the archdiocese to invite parishes to participate in the Traveling Chalice Program:

  http://archstl.org/vocations/page/vocation-prayer-chalice-program

 

SPARK: Built by Serrans for Vocation Directors.
A service of Serra International, United States Council, in collaboration with the NCDVD.

041