Spiritual Motherhood

Women supporting our priests and future priests

Women in the Diocese of Rapid City come together to provide spiritual,
maternal support for both our priests and seminarians.

If in natural life a child is conceived, born, nurtured and cared for by its mother, then this applies even more to the spiritual life: behind all priests there is a spiritual mother who asked God for their vocation. She bears them through spiritual suffering and “nourishes” them by offering to God all her daily activities, so that they become holy priests, priests faithful to their special identity and special commitments. – Mauro Cardinal Piacenza

Five Things to Know About Spiritual Motherhood

It is through the sacramental rivers of grace that a woman, as a daughter of the Church, receives her spiritual life. In turn, she, as a spiritual mother, becomes a vessel of life-giving grace. A spiritual mother encounters the Eternal High Priest in the Eucharist and then, like Mary, carries Christ to others, offering prayers and sacrifices along the way. To priests, she mirrors Mary. The vocation to spiritual motherhood of priests is at the heart of the New Evangelization, since by the intercession of spiritual mothers graces are obtained to renew priests and strengthen them in spreading the Gospel.

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The Spirituality of Maternal Support

“The vocation to be a spiritual mother for priests is largely unknown, scarcely understood and, consequently, rarely lived, notwithstanding its fundamental importance. It is a vocation that is frequently hidden, invisible to the naked eye, but meant to transmit spiritual life. Pope John Paul II, was so convinced of its importance that he established a cloistered convent in the Vatican where nuns would pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.”

Download the booklet for an in-depth look into the history and importance of Spiritual Motherhood

What the Saints Say About Spiritual Motherhood

For an understanding of our unique feminine nature, let us look to the pure love and spiritual maternity of Mary. This spiritual maternity is the core of a woman’s soul. Wherever a woman functions authentically in this spirit of maternal pure love, Mary collaborates with her. This holds true whether the woman is married or single, professional or domestic or both, a Religious in the world or in the convent. Through this love, a woman is God’s special weapon in His fight against evil. Her intrinsic value is that she is able to do so because she has a special susceptibility for the works of God in souls — her own and others. She relates to others in His spirit of love. – St. Edith Stein

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More Resources 


For more excellent resources on the power of spiritual motherhood, visit the Foundation of Prayer for Priests: