June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and it is in this month that we celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ in a special way with eucharistic processions on Corpus Christi Sunday. These are wonderful reminders of the great gift we have in the Mass and the tangible, physical presence of our Lord in the sacraments and the life of the church brought about each and every day through our priests. Just as it is for any parent and caregiver, the work of our priests is a 24/7 responsibility. And as any parent would know, a moment away to tend to one’s own health and well-being is essential to that of the entire family. From June 18 to 21 all priests of our archdiocese will convene for what is known as a priests’ convocation — a retreat away from the day-to-day responsibilities of their parishes and a time to gather together to grow in our own discipleship of Jesus Christ, to build community together as we labor in his vineyard and to inspire each other to greater witness for the salvation of souls. The meeting theme “One in Christ” highlights that everything we are striving toward through our Renew My Church efforts to renew the Archdiocese of Chicago begins with our priests and the brotherhood we share. Therefore, there will be no weekday Masses June 18-21. Please see your own parish website or bulletin in the coming weeks regarding possible prayer services. I call our entire Catholic community to support our priests’ absence and to pray for the success of our convocation. A healthy, spiritually vivified priest leads a healthy, spiritually vivified parish. Please offer the following prayer, and invite others in your family and parish to do the same as we approach the days of our convocation: Lord Jesus Christ, eternal High Priest, you offered yourself to the Father on the altar of the Cross and through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit gave your priestly people a share in your redeeming sacrifice. Hear our prayer for all the priests of this Archdiocese of Chicago, especially as they gather in convocation. Grant that all who are ordained to the ministerial priesthood may be ever more conformed to you, the divine Master, the Good Shepherd. May they preach the Gospel with pure heart and clear conscience. Let them be shepherds according to your own heart, single-minded in service to you and to the church and shining examples of a holy, simple and joyful life. Through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, draw all priests and the flocks entrusted to their care to the fullness of eternal life where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.