Member priests will work to help and assist the sick and the elderly to unite their sufferings with the Lord. The association’s statutes call upon member priests to help the aged and the sick, especially in their parishes, develop a deep friendship with God and realize their life purpose and mission. To do this, priests will strive to convey the mercy of God through the sacraments of anointing of the sick, reconciliation and holy Communion (and in a special way, on Divine Mercy Sunday).
Priests will also pray for and with the elderly and the sick, and encourage them to offer their sufferings in union with Christ’s passion and death for the sanctification of priests, an increase in priestly vocations, and the success of houses of prayer and discernment.
The goal of the new association is to dispel the “euthanasia mentality” in modern society, which has led to a devaluation of the lives of those who are sick and/or aged.
Association members also make simple promises beyond those of their ordinations. These include:
• praying the Divine Office each day;
• receiving regular spiritual direction;
• receiving the sacrament of reconciliation regularly;
• preparing homilies using scriptural meditation, such as the lectio divina;
• offering a daily eucharistic holy hour of prayer;
• recitation of the mysteries of the rosary daily;
• and an annual retreat with the other members of the association.
Association members will also wear a Marian scapular and consecrate themselves to Mary.
The association is open to any priest with the approval of Bishop Ricken. The association meets monthly to pray and offer Mass. Its general moderator is Fr. Matthew Settle. Other members are Fr. Andrew Kysley and Fr. Mark Vander Steeg. Dr. Carol Masuga of the Diocese of Marquette serves as spiritual director.
The origins of the Association of Mary, Mother of the Church lie in the private association of the faithful — known as Friends of Jesus Christ, High Priest — based in the Diocese of Marquette.