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Katie Camario

Family Grows in Faith through Lenten Prayer

March 8, 2023 | Most weekday mornings are busy for Larry and Lauren Alaimo as they get their two children ready for school and themselves ready for the workday ahead.

Despite the hustle and bustle the mornings can bring, the family makes time to pray for a special person; a priest they have never met.

“We have the photo posted on the refrigerator, we are praying for him, and we are committed to praying for him every day as a family,” said Larry Alaimo.

The Alaimos are participating in the "Spiritually Adopt a Priest" ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in New Port Richey, FL. 

They, along with hundreds of other parishioners, received information about one priest or seminarian in the Diocese of St. Petersburg and have agreed to pray for him throughout the Lenten Season.

“We pray for Father and his commitment to the priesthood as he continues his vocation and his journey to serve Christ,” he said.

During this season of Lent, Alaimo says he appreciates the chance for his family to practice the Lenten Pillar of Prayer together.

“There is a benefit to teaching our kids to think outside of their day-to-day needs. It's good to take a pause, and to pray for somebody that you may just take for granted,” he said. “Priests need prayer and strength.”

The priest they have spiritually adopted is unaware that he is the focus of their prayer. However, that will change on Easter when the family sends him a special Easter message.

“This is going to be a little bit of a surprise. Our plan is to have myself and my wife Lauren and the kids write a personal note to Father. The kids will share their thoughts and share some insights into the experience and how we will continue to pray for him even beyond Lent,” said Alaimo.

Prayer for Priests

Lord Jesus, You have chosen your priests from among us and sent them out to proclaim your word and to act in your name.

For so great a gift to your Church, we give You praise and thanksgiving.

We ask You to fill them with the fire of Your love, that their ministry may reveal Your presence in the Church.

Since they are earthen vessels, we pray that Your power shine out through their weaknesses.

In their afflictions let them never be crushed; in their doubts never despair; in temptation never be destroyed; in persecution never abandoned.

Inspire them through prayer to live each day the mystery of your dying and rising.

In times of weakness, send them your Spirit, and help them to praise Your heavenly Father and pray for poor sinners.

By the same Holy Spirit, put Your word on their lips and Your love in their hearts, to bring good news to the poor and healing to the brokenhearted.

And may the gift of Mary Your mother, to the disciple whom You loved, be your gift to every priest.

Grant that she who formed You in her human image, may form them in Your divine image, by the power of your Spirit, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

– from the Sisters of St. Clare