I loved working on this story about a new apostolate in Ottawa called The Spiritual Motherhood of Priests. I felt like I was on the road to Emmaus.
The women who founded the Spiritual Motherhood of Priests (SMOP) in Ottawa in 2011 look back in wonder at how God prepared them for this apostolate.
Maria Pirrone, 58, and Maria Nicastro, 49, both from Italian-Canadian backgrounds, grew up in Ottawa. While both cradle Catholics, neither knew much about their faith. But God intervened in supernatural ways, preparing both of them for this ministry that forms women as intercessors for the sanctification of priests.
SMOP allows women to exercise their spiritual motherhood as a “gift of love, through the Sacred Heart (of Jesus) and Immaculate Heart of Mary for her priest sons,” said Nicastro. “A priest loses nothing and gains everything by accepting an anonymous spiritual mother, who is willing to lay down her life that his may be used more mightily to win back souls to God.”
The organization pairs priests, who write a letter with their identity kept anonymous to their spiritual mother, sharing their hopes, struggles and aspirations. This letter helps the spiritual mother know how to pray for him.
“We were to be hidden, we were to make a life offering, it was supposed to be not only for priests but also a formation of women, Eucharistic, and completely for the glory of God, and the souls of priests,” said Nicastro. “When priests are converted back to the Church as they should be, the Church changes.”
“When a priest if full of the love of God and he preaches, the Holy Spirit uses him as an incredible instrument for his glory and to steal souls back. That’s the vision.”
“A woman knows whether she is brought to this or not,” said Nicastro. “You will know if the Lord has called you to this. You will know by the burning in your heart.”