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Cathedral to host blessed monstrance for adoration

A monstrance blessed by Pope John Paul II to encourage prayers for vocations to the priesthood and religious life will be making a stop at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha on it's year-long tour through the United States and Canada.

The monstrance, in Omaha at the request of Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss, will be used for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Feb. 21 beginning after an 8:30 a.m. Mass at the cathedral. Archbishop Curtiss will preside at that Mass.

Adoration will continue throughout the day, concluding with a rosary and benediction at 7 p.m. The public is invited to the Mass and the closing, and is encouraged to spend some time in adoration during the day.

"The goal is to send the monstrance to different dioceses to promote prayer services centered around adoration of the consecrated host," said Father Edward J. Burns, executive director of the Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

Bishop Blasé J. Cupich of Rapid City, S.D., a former Archdiocese of Omaha priest, said the monstrance will "create great synergy in the country."

"It will be an opportunity to raise up in the minds of the faithful that the need is not only to pray, but to create a culture of vocations," said Bishop Cupich, chairman of the U.S. bishops committee on vocations.

Along with the USCCB, the USA Council of Serra International is assisting with the logistics of the tour. The Serra Club of Omaha is in charge of receiving the monstrance and delivering it to the cathedral.

"I've asked the Serra clubs, through their leadership, to accomplish this because I know that it will be done efficiently," said Bishop Cupich, who serves as Episcopal adviser to the USA Council of Serra International. "Serrans are organized and the program will highlight the mission of Serra as the lay vocation arm of the church, a title given the organization by the Holy Father."

The monstrance is one of six blessed by the pope late last year to promote eucharistic adoration during the 2004-2005 Year of the Eucharist, which began Oct. 17, 2004, and concludes in October 2005 with a world Synod of Bishops.

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