To my very dear Brother Priests with the Title Father.
A prayer and a letter.
I am sure you must have read and studied this but this is my prayer for you. All that is written below. I know you can do it. If the Cure of Ars and padre Pio could do it so can you. Settle for nothing less. Shoot for the stars and do not allow yourselves to be satisfied with anything less than all that this challenge entails.
God bless you!!! For ever!!!
Church in the World
Return to pious ways of St John Vianney, priests told
Robert Mickens27 June 2009
Pope Benedict XVI has officially inaugurated the Year for Priests by urging the Church’s more than 400,000 ordained presbyters to imitate the holiness of St John Vianney and Padre Pio of Pietrelcina - especially through devotion to the Eucharist, long hours of hearing confessions and a renewed commitment to celibacy.
“From St John Vianney we can learn to put our unfailing trust in the Sacrament of Penance, to set it once more at the centre of our pastoral concerns, and to take up the ‘dialogue of salvation’ which it entails,” the Pope said in a six-page letter to priests to mark the start of the jubilee year.
The text, published on 18 June, held up the eighteenth-century French priest as a model for the modern priesthood.*In it the Pope praised the “courageous fidelity” of so many of today’s priests but lamented what he described as “situations, which can never be sufficiently deplored, where the Church herself suffers as a consequence of infidelity on the part of some of her ministers”. *
He repeated those concerns the next evening during Vespers in St Peter’s Basilica, where he told several thousand priests that they fulfilled an “indispensable mission for the world and the Church”, but warned them that unless they were holy they would drive people away. “Nothing makes the Church and the body of Christ suffer so much as the sins of its pastors,” he said.
Before Vespers the Pope venerated the heart of St John Vianney (the Curé d’Ars), which was then carried into the basilica in a gold reliquary. He ended the liturgy with Eucharistic adoration and by blessing the assembly with a gilded monstrance containing a consecrated host.
The Pope also praised Padre Pio (1887-1968) on Sunday during a visit to San Giovanni Rotondo, the place where the Capuchin lived and is now entombed.
Pope Benedict said Padre Pio’s “love for the Eucharist” enkindled in him “a total willingness to welcome the faithful, especially sinners”. He said his ministry as a confessor constituted the greatest title of glory and was Padre Pio’s distinctive feature.
Meanwhile, Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, Regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, lamented the fact that many Catholics no longer go to confession. He cited recent surveys that showed a third of Catholics regarded confession as “pointless”, 10 per cent saw it as “an impediment to direct dialogue with the Lord” and 20 per cent said they found it “difficult to talk to another person about their sins”. He said those who did go to confession tended not to disclose specific sins but to talk in general terms and ask for help with problems.
“Priests ought never to be resigned to empty confessionals or the apparent indifference of the faithful to this sacrament,” the Pope said in his letter for the Year for Priests. He also quoted the Second Vatican Council in a passage in which he wrote that priests should “acknowledge their [the laity’s] experience and competence in the different fields of human activity”, saying it would help priests “together with them to discern the signs of the times”.
n About three-quarters of practising Catholics in France want the Church to allow married priests to return to active ministry and to ordain married men, according to a new poll by the Catholic daily La Croix. Support for ordaining women was only slightly lower at 67 per cent. One thousand people were polled in late May. *
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I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT. IF I WAS YOUNGER I WOULD DEFINITELY WANT TO BE A PRIEST AND TRY TO LIVE UP TO THESE STANDARDS. ON YOUR BEHALF I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS CHALLENGE FOR YOU. GOD BLESS YOU FOR EVER!!!
what a wonderful Pope we have to lead in such a manner!!!