#18. School Traveling Crucifix Program
The School Traveling Crucifix Program provides students with a significant focal point for daily prayer in the classroom—and for conversation about the importance of vocations.
A beautiful crucifix is selected to “travel” to different classrooms in a school, with each class committing to host the crucifix for one week and to pray daily for vocations.
This is a wonderful—and easy-to-organize—way to involve students in praying for vocations, and to unite the school in perpetual prayer for priests and consecrated life. This program and a similar one for parishes and dioceses have enjoyed growing popularity around the country. Many Serra Clubs and Knights of Columbus have been willing to cover the cost of the Traveling Crucifix Kit.
- Traveling crucifix program
- Provides students with focal point for daily prayer
- Provides students with focal point for conversation about vocations
- Crucifix is selected to be taken from classroom to classroom within a school
- Each class commits to…
- host for one week
- pray daily for vocations
- Each class commits to…
- Easy-to-organize way to…
- involve students in praying for vocations
- unite the school in perpetual prayer for priests and consecrated life
- Program has enjoyed growing popularity around America
Using Serrans / Volunteers
- Acquiring crucifix
- Organizing / keeping track of schedule as to which classroom hosts the crucifix which week of the school year
Program History, Development, and Additional Resources
There are many different suppliers and options to obtain your Traveling Crucifix. The Serra Store at Vianney Vocations has a complete kit available with a carrying case, Crucifix, holy cards and an explanation of the program at the following link:
Other options could include securing a crucifix, having a parishioner make a carrying case, ordering prayer cards and printing out the teachers notebook from the website. It is great to put the kit in a “Catholic” bag to transport it. Often parishioners have a neat bag left over from a Catholic Conference.
Among best practices is the following programmatic outline that’s ready to use in your diocese or parish or school:
1. This program can be implemented in a variety of settings. Obtain the support of the person who has oversight for the chosen setting:
a. The principal for a school setting
b. The Superintendent of Catholic Schools for a diocesan-wide initiative
2. Whether the program is initiated in a single school or across a diocese, select one key individual to serve as program director, one director per Traveling Crucifix.
3. Obtain supplies
b. Carrying case or bag
c. Daily Vocation Prayers to be handed out to each student during the crucifix’s visit.
d. Teacher Guide: a short description for the teacher to use in explaining the program and beginning the week-long visit of the Traveling Crucifix.
4. Schedule the following
a. A time when a particular class will receive the crucifix, for example, from the priest at the end of a school Mass, from a procession of students from the former class or in the school office on a certain day.
b. A time and location for returning the crucifix or passing it on.
a. Start with an invitation by teachers, principals, school chaplains, and/or the Superintendent of Catholic Schools.
b. Arrange for program announcements in classes and school communications.
c. Organize the schedule of classroom visits for the Traveling Crucifix.
d. Arrange for weekly reminders about a return time and location, another to the next host classroom about a time and location to receive the crucifix.
6. Launch the Program
a. Arrange crucifix in its carrying case/bag with Daily Vocation Prayers and Teacher Guide.
b. The first classroom receives the crucifix in the arranged manner. The teacher places the crucifix in a safe and prominent location, explains the significance of the crucifix, distributes or projects Daily Vocation Prayers, and prays with the students each day during the week of the visit. An electronic copy of daily prayers for projection are located at the bottom of the page of this link: https://serraus.org/programs/
The following is reflective of best practices for announcing the program; these should be adapted to your group’s/location’s circumstances:
1. Announcing the Program:
To promote prayer for and awareness of vocations, our school is introducing the Traveling Crucifix Program to begin on [date]. Each week, a class hosts the Traveling Crucifix, puts it in a prominent place, and prays daily for vocations. This is a wonderful way to unite our school community in perpetual prayer for priests and consecrated life. A schedule will be constructed and shared at a faculty meeting.
The following suggested teacher guide text can be printed, laminated or put in a plastic sleeve, and included with the Traveling Crucifix:
Dear Teachers,Thank you for sharing in our efforts to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Your prayers are essential for raising up vocations in our Church. Remember the words of our Lord: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).
The purpose of the Traveling Crucifix Program is to encourage people to pray for and promote vocations. Your class was presented with the crucifix. This crucifix is offered to help serve as a visible reminder of your commitment to pray together as a class for vocations during this week and as a reminder that the Mass does not end with the closing prayer.
This crucifix represents the sacrifice Jesus made for us by dying on the cross. We suggest that you place it in some highly visible place in the classroom where it is safe. We ask that your whole classroom pray together once each day for vocations. You may distribute and use the enclosed Daily Vocation Prayers or substitute with the Rosary or a simple Lord’s Prayer (Our Father), Hail Mary, or the Glory Be. Please feel free to adapt enclosed prayers to the age of your students.
During this week, we encourage you to talk about vocations, about God’s plan for us to grow in holiness, and answer any questions. You should feel free to let the students see and hold the crucifix, even young children if supervised, making sure they treat it respectfully, like all sacred objects.
Thank you for your commitment to praying for vocations this week!
Your group can purchase Vocation Prayer Cards from Vianney Vocations to include with the crucifix:
Prayer to Know My Vocation – go to Vianneyvocations.com
Daily Prayer for Priests Card – https://www.vianneyvocations.com/product/traveling-vocation-crucifix/
Find other prayer card resources at http://www.invisiblemonastery.com — or make copies of any of the following prayers, one for each student, and include with the Traveling Crucifix:
Monday: Prayer to Know One’s Vocation
Intention: We pray for all of those who might not know their vocation in life. Through prayer and with God’s help, may they come to know His will for their lives.
Tuesday: Prayer to Mother of the Church
Intention: We pray that we might grow in our love and devotion to Mary.
Wednesday: Litany for Vocations
Intention: We pray for an increase in religious vocations.
|Lord, have mercy.||Christ, have mercy.|
|Christ, have mercy.||Christ, hear us.|
|Christ, hear us.||Christ, hear us.|
|God the Father of heaven,||Have mercy on us.|
|God the Son, Redeemer of the world,||Have mercy on us.|
|God the Holy Spirit,||Have mercy on us.|
|Holy Mary,||Pray for us.|
|St. Joseph, protector of the Holy Church,||Pray for us.|
|St. Theresa of the Child Jesus,||Pray for us.|
|St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests,||Pray for us.|
|St. Elizabeth Ann Seton,||Pray for us.|
|St. Charles Borromeo, patron of seminarians,||Pray for us.|
|St. Katherine Drexel,||Pray for us.|
|St. Stephen, patron of deacons,||Pray for us.|
|St. John Berchmans, patron of altar servers,||Pray for us.|
|St. Junipero Serra,||Pray for us.|
|All you holy men and women,||Pray for us.|
|Through your mercy,||Send workers into Your harvest, Lord.|
|Through our prayers and sacrifices,||Send workers into Your harvest, Lord.|
|Through the power of the Mass,||Send workers into Your harvest, Lord.|
|Through the holiness of families,||Send workers into Your harvest, Lord.|
Let us pray: O God, who chose the Apostles to make disciples of all nations, we earnestly implore You to choose among us many priests and religious who will love You with their whole heart and will gladly spend their entire lives making You known and loved. Amen.
Thursday: Prayer for Students at Our School
Intention: We pray that, if it be God’s will, there might be vocations to the priesthood and religious life from our own school and that they be supported through our encouragement.
Friday: Prayer for all priests and religious that have served your school
Intention: We pray for our school, that it may grow in holiness and that from among its members there may be priests and religious to serve the Church.
Prayer #1 (Pope Francis I Prayer for Vocations)
Intention: With the Holy Father, we pray for an increase in priestly and religious vocations throughout the universal Church.
LORD of the Harvest,
BLESS young people with the gift of courage to respond to your call.
Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things.
INSPIRE all of your disciples to mutual love and giving—for vocations blossom in the good soil of faithful people.
INSTILL those in religious life, parish ministries, and families, with the confidence and grace to invite others to embrace the bold and noble path of a life consecrated to you.
UNITE us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament, so that we may cooperate with you in building your reign of mercy and truth, of justice and peace. Amen.
Prayer #2: Prayer to Know My Vocation
I glorify You, God in all that I do.
In Mind, body, and spirit
I give my best to you.
Help me to follow your will
No matter the Call:
Sister, brother, or priest,
I promise my all.
If you call me to marriage,
I promise to love,
And to teach my own children
To seek grace from above.
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,is now,
and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
Please pray a Hail Mary, Our Father and Glory Be in thanksgiving for all the priests and religious that have served our school.
Projecting the Daily Vocation Prayer, rather than distributing cards or copies of prayers.
Inviting a priest or religious brother/sister to visit your classroom and talk about vocations during the week your class hosts the Traveling Crucifix.
Include a small notebook with the Traveling Crucifix to log thoughts and ideas that arise during the week.
Find teacher resources and talking points for discussing vocations at www.vocationlessons.com
From Vianney Vocations:
How to Conduct the Traveling Crucifix Program for Religious Education
Traveling Crucifix Teacher’s Booklet
Print this file for the teacher notebook to accompany the School Traveling Crucifix Vocation Kit. We have made it easy for you–it includes: an explanation of the program, hints, prayers and lesson plans to accompany the School Traveling Crucifix Vocation Kit.
Lesson Plan for School Traveling Crucifix Program
This booklet contains ideas and activities to promote religious vocations in your
classroom or CCD Program. The lessons have been modified from the Los Angeles
Archdiocese Vocation Office. You are free to reproduce and use.
More lesson plans for Vocations with permission of the Archdiocese of Detroit
Archdiocese of Baltimore
Diocese of Evansville Vocation Chalice.
Archdiocese of St. Louis, MO (has helpful brochure in both Spanish and English, with directions, discussion questions, and suggested prayers.)
Diocese of Saint Cloud, MN
Immaculate Conception School, Fort Smith, AR
St. Antoninus, Cincinnati, OH
Video from Catholic News Herald (Diocese of Charlotte, NC) which is titled, “The Traveling Chalice Makes Its Way through St. Gabriel School in Charlotte”; the video (2:24 in length) details a Traveling Chalice Program as implemented within a Catholic school in the diocese:
See St. Edward Pastor Fr. Scott Murphy‘s YouTube “Minute Message” to his parishioners announcing the school Traveling Chalice and thanking the Serra Club of Louisville for its sponsorship of the program.