Good Shepherd Prayer Apostolate
At this moment, someone from the Good Shepherd Prayer Apostolate is praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament here in the Diocese of Evansville. Perhaps more importantly, there will continue to be prayers offered during every hour of every day – for the diocese, Bishop Thompson, our priests and religious, and for vocations.
Deacon Charlie Koressel is Spiritual Director of the Good Shepherd Prayer Apostolate. “We are a lay-organized and lay-led group of Catholics gathering in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament,” he said. The GSPA mission statement explains that the group offers a "24/7 Perpetual Prayer Service for Bishop Thompson, his special intentions, for our priests, seminarians, an increase to vocations (religious, single and married) and for our Diocese.” In addition to Koressel’s work, Cindy Masterson serves as GSPA Diocesan Coordinator, and each deanery in the diocese has coordinators.
Koressel said the apostolate came about in spring 2012. “While I was at a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament,” he said. “I was reflecting on the spiritual direction of the Church, the low numbers of seminarians (there were five at the time), fewer vowed religious in our educational system, and other concerns. It was impressed upon me that there were things that the laity could do to mobilize and be a force for a positive change to some of the trends that were happening. As is in all things, it should start with prayer.” As a result, a group of laity from around the diocese met and formed the GSPA.
“Most parishes in the diocese are directly or indirectly involved,” Koressel said. “Each deanery has a coordinator or co-coordinators, and each of the seven deaneries has one of the seven days of the week. For example, the Evansville East Deanery has Mondays.” In this example, because there are usually four Mondays per month, four parishes in the Evansville East Deanery volunteer to host the GSPA. “One of those four participating parishes has a Monday every four weeks, thus fulfilling those Monday obligations.”
“Some parishes are host parishes, where the opportunity to adore our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is made available,” Koressel added. “There are also parishioners who come from non-host parishes, and they spend an hour (in adoration) at the host parish.” The GSPA has developed a prayer booklet that provides a series of suggested prayers, readings, and suggestions on how to more fully participate in a Holy Hour of adoration – as well as some guidelines on how to personally grow in faith.
“In an informal survey,” Koressel said, “we have more than 950 people participating diocesan-wide. Of those, approximately one-third are first-time adorers. Since the formation of the Good Shepherd Prayer Apostolate, vocations have increased. We now have 10 seminarians, with others discerning their vocational call.”
Diocesan Director of Vocations Father Alex Zenthoefer welcomes prayers for vocations from the GSPA and everyone across our 12 counties.
"We live in a world that makes it very difficult to hear God's voice," Father Alex said. "Our friends need help to hear that voice through all the sounds that try and drown it out; so we ought to witness to what it means to listen to God's voice, and we ought to pray for them so that they can hear the Good Shepherd calling their name."
Want to get involved, in the Good Shepherd Prayer Apostolate? Contact Koressel, Masterson or one of the Deanery Coordinators:
Deacon Charlie Koressel: (812) 760-6443 or (812) 985-2275; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cindy Masterson: email email@example.com.
Evansville East Deanery: Marie Dasher – (912) 455-2905 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evansville West Deanery: Donna Dilger – email email@example.com.
Jasper Deanery: Bev Himsel – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newburgh Deanery: Cris Goldbach – email email@example.com.
Princeton Deanery: Annlee Botzum – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vincennes Deanery: Julie Marchino – (812) 882-6854.
Washington Deanery: Fred and Joy Schwenk – email email@example.com.