Friday, December 19, 2008

Priesthood "indispensable"

"It is never too often said that the priesthood is indispensable to the Church, in the very own interest of the lay faithful. Priests are a gift from God to the Church. Priests must never delegate to the faithful [those] functions which are related to their own mission. Dear Brothers in the episcopacy, I ask you to remain desirous to help your priests live in intimate union with Christ. Their spiritual life is the foundation of their apostolic life. You shall exhort them gently to daily prayer and to a dignified celebration of the Sacraments, particularly of the Eucharist and of Reconciliation, as Saint Francis de Sales did with his priests. Every priest should be able to feel glad to serve the Church. At the school of the Curé d’Ars, son of your land and patron of all priests of the world, do not cease to repeat that a man can do no greater deed than to give the Body and the Blood of Christ to the faithful, and to forgive sins…."

-- from the address of Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of France on the Anniversary of his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

No caption necessary

Just enjoy. And dream of the future.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Celibacy of priests always greatly esteemed by the Church

In his new book, "Reflections on the Priesthood: Letter to a Young Priest" retired Francis Cardinal Arinze says, "The Church has always had great esteem for the celibacy of priests. Christ lived a virginal life, taught chastity to his disciples, and proposed virginity to those who are willing and able to follow a similar call."

"In priestly life, perpetual celibacy for the Kingdom of Heaven expresses and stimulates pastoral charity," he added. "It is a special fount of spiritual fruitfulness in the world. […] It is a testimony that stands out before the world as an efficacious way to follow Christ."

The cardinal said that in today's world, "immersed in an exaggerated preoccupation with sex and the violation of its sacredness […] a presbyter who lives his vow of chastity with joy, fidelity and a positive spirit is a testimony that cannot be ignored."

Through priestly celibacy, the prelate continued, "the presbyter consecrates himself more directly to Christ in the exercise of spiritual paternity." He is more available "as a minister of Christ, spouse of the Church," and he can "truly present himself as a living sign of the future world, which is already present through faith and charity."

For more on the new book, visit Zenit.

(Photo of Francis Cardinal Arinze by Siena.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

"He spoke to us of God and he spoke to God of us."

Father Paul Parkerson explains the vocation of the holy priesthood.

(Photo: Fr Paul Parkerson, left, and Bishop Burbidge, of the Diocese of Raleigh in North Carolina.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Emerald Isle "green" with vocations

Irish Turn Corner On Voca­tions:
The Irish Times’
Patsy Mc­Garry reported November 24 that the widely acclaimed “ vocations crisis” in Ireland is now “ a myth,” as Irish seminaries now boast the largest number of future priests in years, and the average age of en­trants is dropping.
The national coordinator of di­ocesan vocations, Fr. Paddy Rushe, told
The Irish Times that he expects the number of seminarians to dou­ble and triple in coming years.
McGarry reported: “ Noting that 30 men entered seminaries to train as priests in Ireland last Septem­ber, with 31 having done so in September 2007 and 30 in Sep­tember 2006, [ Rushe] contrasted this with the situation at the be­ginning of the decade when, in 2000 for instance, 13 men entered. Of that number nine were or­dained last year. Of those entering in recent years, he expected that at least 18 would be ordained in each year. ‘ The problem is that when people sign up, it takes six or seven years for them to be ready,’ Fr. Rushe said.
“ This meant that ‘ we are only starting to see people emerge who signed up in 2001, which was a bad year for the Catholic Church as scandals broke and we were at the height of the Celtic Tiger.’ “ Should the numbers of semi­narians continue to rise, he ex­pected an influx of new priests to the Irish Catholic Church by 2014. He forecast that ‘in 2014 we will see twice, if not three times, as many new priests emerging’.”

(As reported by The Wanderer Catholic newspaper.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

James Higgins, altarboy

View this video and see the reason for altar boys: to bring young men closer to the priesthood and thus to the one thing necessary, Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist.