Fraternity of Priests offers Masses with prayers for healing

Categories: Around the Diocese

By Nikki Rajala
The Visitor

On June 22, the St. Cloud Diocese’s Fraternity of Priests sponsored a Mass followed by individual prayers for healing at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Battle Lake.

Father Gregory Paffel, pastor of the parishes of St. Alexius in West Union and Our Lady of the Angels and St. Paul in Sauk Centre and a member of the fraternity, said the group offers the Masses three times a year.

Prayer often focuses on medical issues, but worshipers may also seek healing related to emotional or spiritual issues they are dealing with in their lives.

Father Gerald Mischke, a retired priest of the diocese, is also a member of the fraternity. He noted the great need for spiritual healing which may be requested for others.

“Many people come not for themselves but with prayer intentions for others,” Father Mischke said, “such as for a child or family member who has left the faith, [that they may] return to the church. Their petitions show their great pain and deep faith life.

“I have learned that when you share grief, it halves the grief, but when you share joy, it increases your joy,” he said.

Holy Spirit at work

Father Paffel related the story of a young woman struggling with depression and other forms of mental illness who had once come to him for prayer.

“After sharing her deep hurt, she was able to renounce, in the name of Jesus, the spirit of depression and reclaim the spirit of life,” Father Paffel said.

“She invited Jesus to touch her hurt, and was then able to name her lost child [through miscarriage]. Tears of healing ran down her face.

You could see the Holy Spirit at work in her life. These are the kinds of healing moments that allow people to have a more faith-filled and happy life.”

Every Mass is a prayer of thanksgiving and healing, Father Paffel said. But because there is a special emphasis, the Fraternity of Priests calls these liturgies “Masses of healing.”

A typical evening begins at 4 p.m. with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, singing, silence and evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. Adoration continues at 5 p.m., though the priests excuse themselves for supper. They offer confession at 6 p.m. with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 6:40 p.m. Mass is at 7 p.m.

Following Mass, people are welcome to approach individual priests for prayers of healing, usually for a particular need. The evening often ends with refreshments.

On some occasions, at the discretion of the parish pastor, the sacrament of anointing of the sick is included during Mass.

“Our Fraternity of Priests is a support group of priests,” Father Paffel said. “Though it is not a prerequisite, it is generally made up of priests who have been acquainted with charismatic renewal. Our spirituality is focused on the Holy Spirit while other spiritualities embraced by the church include the Eucharist, Mary, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Divine Mercy or the Bible.”

Those participating in the special Masses often include deacons and priests from other dioceses, he said. In June, friends from theArchdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the dioceses of Duluth and Fargo concelebrated with the St. Cloud group, which has offered these special Masses for about 30 years.

The St. Cloud Fraternity of Priests offers Masses with prayers for healing in February, June and October. The next Mass with prayers for healing will be Oct. 26 at St. Mary of Mount Carmel Church in Long Prairie.