The Holy Priesthood


#1

Pope Benedict XVI has designated June 29, 2009 - June 29, 2010 as Year of the Priesthood. This is a good time to meditate on the meaning of Holy Priesthood in the life of the Church. The abuses and scandals connected to the clergy have certainly tarnished the reputation of this sacrament of the Church. What can we do as Catholics to express our love for our priests? Do you have ideas on how to celebrate this year long celebration?
What is a Priest to you? Do you have a particular priest who helped you along the journey of Faith?:highprayer:


#2

Dear Sister, I just love your posts it always helps to centre me.
There is in fact 2 Priest’s that have made a world of difference in my life. The first and foremost was the Priest that spent a lot of time with me in Afghanistan while I was going through a very rough time. The second is my Priest now, as a matter of fact if it wasn’t for CAF I never would have had enough courage to make an appointment with him:). But I’ll tell you, I have never felt better in my faith then I do now. He is a great man and has endured much, but somehow always manages to have time for everyone who asks for it.

God Bless
Amanda


#3

To me… our priests are the closest servants of Our Lord; and through them, comes to us… the Sacraments of the Church; and they share in a very profound, sacramental way… the holy Priesthood of Jesus.

I think the best way to observe this “Year of the Priest”… is for the entire Church to spend much, much time… in praying for our priests. Most of them… carry tremendous burdens on their shoulders. And they need our prayers, our love and our support.

Also… please remember to pray for those priests who have wounded the priesthood; and those that have died.

God bless.

(There are 4 special priests for me. Two of them, at my current parish. Two of them… from the parish I grew up in… and have died. I pray for their intercession).


#4

To me, a priest is a place where the veil between heaven and earth thins and disappears. It’s where God can touch us directly, using the priest.

I am thankful for the priest who taught me theology in college, who was more concerned that we understood than about our grades. He gave an oral final exam so he had one last chance to clear things up for us.

I am thankful for the priest who gave the homily that inspired me to mend my ways in my early 20’s, and who, that very night, stayed after Mass to hear my confession.

I am thankful for the Opus Dei priests who preached the many inspiring retreats and recollections, and for their unfailing optimism in confession.

I am thankful for the young priest who is now my confessor, who challenges and comforts along with the forgiveness.

I am thankful for Baltimore’s Archbishop O’Brien, who has the fatherly heart of a true shepherd.

And I am thankful for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict. He’s just what we need right now.

How to celebrate? Pray for them, encourage them, pray for vocations.

Betsy


#5

There is a priest, the current pastor of my parish…I don’t even know how to explain how much of a difference he has made in my spiritual journey. Suffice to say, however, that without his example I don’t think I would have the attitude I have about the Church that I have today (a good attitude mind you…nay a joyful attitude). Perhaps the best thing I can do for him is to thank him.

I also think the best way to observe “The Year of the Priest” is for the Church to unite in prayer for our priests…pray for them and thank them, personally, for heeding God’s call to the priesthood.


#6

Sweet! May it inspire young men who are called to be priests to be priests and inspire all the faithful to pray for priests and ask the patrons of priests to pray for them as well.


#7

THE BEAUTIFUL HANDS OF A PRIEST

We need them in life’s early morning, we need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of true friendship, we seek them when tasting life’s woes.
When we come to this world we are sinful, the greatest as well as the least.
And the hand that makes us pure as angels is the beautiful hand of a priest.

At the altar each day we behold them, and the hands of a king on his throne
Are not equal to them in their greatness, their dignity stands all alone;
For there in the stillness of morning, ere the sun has emerged from the East,
There God rests between the pure fingers of the beautiful hands of a priest.

And when we are tempted and wander to pathways of shame and sin,
‘Tis the hand of a priest will absolve us – not once, but again and again;
And when we are taking life’s partner, other hands may prepare us a feast,
But the hand that will bless and unite us is the beautiful hand of a priest.

God bless them and keep them all holy for the Host which their fingers caress;
What can a poor sinner do better than ask Him, He Who chose thee to bless?
When the death-dews on our eyelids are falling, may our courage and strength be increased,
By seeing raised o’er us in blessing, the beautiful hands of a priest.


#8

My fondest memory of a priest was when I was 16 years old. I came home from an afternoon spent with my girlfriends, and strangely my mother and stepfather were not home. I knew they had gone for a Sunday afternoon motorcycle ride, as I had seen them on the way to my friend’s, but this was getting on toward evening. A few minutes after I got home, the phone rang, and the Pastor of my parish was on the other end, asking me how I was doing. I said “Fine, Father” He said “Haven’t you heard?” I said “Heard what?” He said “I will be there in a few minutes, don’t go anywhere.”

He came to my house and sat down and told my brother and me that my parents had been in a serious motorcycle accident and were in the hospital. Seeing that we were alone, he made arrangements for my Grandmother, in the next city, to come to our house and stay with us. He then took us to the hospital, sneaked us into their rooms to see them, got us something to eat and stayed with us until my Grandmother got there. My Grandmother said we should go to school as there was nothing we could do, and visiting at the hospitals in those days was very strict.

He checked on us every day and took us to the hospital every day after school to see them. On the third day he came to the school, got us out of class, and told us my stepfather had passed away and took us to see my Mother, and then took us home. He started the funeral arrangements, comforted my Grandmother and the other relatives as they came over, and was just there for us. He also spent time at the hospital with my Mother, who was seriously injured herself, and grieving for her husband.

I will never forget this man, who is now deceased. His care for us was extraordinary, far beyond what would ordinarily be expected for a busy Pastor. He got my family through the worst time of our life, and his concern and care did not end with the funeral. I vaguely remember food and money coming in for us, which I think he had a hand in procuring. He was one of the most compassionate human beings I have ever met. I would say he was the one priest who most influenced my life, and it wasn’t by words or brilliant preaching, it was simply by love.


#9

a Priest is a father and a holy victim to me.
The following priests really helped me a lot.
Pope John Paul II
Bishop Gregory Aymond (diocese of Austin)
Fr. Joel McNeil (my current pastor)
Fr. Alberto Borrule (my spiritual director)
Fr. Trung Tran (my old parish pastor whom I had known for 18 years)
Fr. Thanh Dao (my godfather stphilomenaparish.com/start/?page_id=16 )

Thanks be to God for these holy men.


#10

Dear Sister

Without priests we’d all be lost. No heaven. Is that something to be grayeful for? I’ve been helped a great deal by priests. I think we should make an effort to pray for all the priests we know, and the whole lot too. We should always do this anyway.

God bless you:thumbsup::slight_smile:


#11

I love that thistle, and this one too.

PRAYER FOR PRIESTS
Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord,
keep them, for they are Thine -
Thy priests whose lives burn out
before Thy consecrated shrine.

Keep them, for they are in the world,
though from the world apart;
when earthly pleasures tempt, allure -
shelter them in Thy heart.

Keep them, and comfort them
in hours of loneliness and pain,
when all their lives of sacrifice
for souls seems but in vain.

Keep them, and O remember, Lord,
they have no one but Thee,
yet they have only human hearts,
with human frailty.

Keep them as spotless as the Host,
that daily they caress;
their every thoughts and word and deed,
Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

We all need to be thankful for the Priests of our past, present and future and pray for them.

My dear grandmother always prayed that their would be a Priest available to every member of her family when they needed one, and that prayer sure has become true for me, I love them all, they have truly been spiritual fathers to me in every way.

I have made her prayer my own, the above prayer is the prayer that my mother prayed daily for Priests, I need to do that also. I did for a time, became lax in it and will take it up again.


#12

Priests are the representatives of Christ. They are Christ on earth.

I am grateful to many priests, but the followings stand out:

Fr. Vincent - He taught me the Catholic faith and baptized me after a whole year of one on one classes. He is always patient, always caring, and always kind.

Fr. Richard - He was my college CLC counselor and my first spiritual director. Through him I had an amazing charismatic encounter with the Holy Spirit. He loves everyone as Christ loves. He gave his life as a candle burning from both ends. He taught me so much.

Fr. Michael - He is my current pastor, spiritual director and confessor. His wisdom with great sense of humor always inspires me. His outstanding leadership always impresses me. His kindness always makes me grateful.
I feel very blessed to know him.

We should pray for priests everyday.


#13

I am starting to think hard of how to celebrate the Year of the Priest. I will definitely begin by making a personal effort to pray for them daily using a special prayer composed by late Cardinal Cushing.

*"O Almighty Eternal God, look upon the face of your Son, and for love of Him who is the eternal High-priest, have pity on your priests. Remember, O Most Compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop’s hands. Keep them close to you, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.

O Jesus, I pray you for your faithful and fervent priests, for your unfaithful and tepid priests; for your priests laboring at home and abroad in distant mission fields; for your tempted priests; for your lonely and desolate priests; for your young priests, for your dying priests; for the souls of your priests in purgatory.

Above all I commend to you the priests dearest to me; the priest who baptized me; the priest who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me your Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me and helped me and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly _____________________________.

O Jesus, keep them all close to your Heart and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen."
*
I owe a lot to the wonderful Priests I have met along the way of my spiritual journey. I remember those who are no longer with us with fondness and gratitude. They have nurtured and nourished me with their wisdom, friendship and love. I pray most especially for my Spiritual Director and my brother priest. I pray that despite the imperfections of these priests and the sins committed by individuals, our faith remains anchored in the mystery of God’s love given to us through his priesthood.


#14

Priests mean alot to me. There have been many priests that have touched my life, and the lives of all in my family. Father Bob, the wonderful priest who celebrated my Grandpaps funeral Mass, is an extremely Holy and caring man. I will never forget his Homily, and how after he gave it, when I was crying particuarly hard, he came over and gave me and everyone in my family a hug, and whispered something like everythings ok now. I get tears just thinking about it. He would come over to my Grandparents house and anoint and Bless my Pap, and hear his confession. Such a Holy and loving man. I will never forget that. He spoke of him as if he was his friend since high school, he truly cared for my Pap; although he knew him only a short while.

The second priest that comes to mind is our current pastor. I’ve called him at the last minute (for example I believe I e-mailed him on sunday and asked if we could set up an appointment and if he would be able to hear my Confession, and be able to recieve the Eucharist on Ash Wednesday and be absolved of my mortal sin(s) ) and he e-mailed me back and asked if monday would ok for me. He always makes time for me, he sits and listens to me talk and ask questions, he prays for my family, and he’s always more than happy to Bless something for me. A great and Holy man.

To me, a priest is a place where the veil between heaven and earth thins and disappears. It’s where God can touch us directly, using the priest.

The same priest, Father Thomas, always said that especially as priests, they must be God with skin on. But not only just priests, but everyone. Because we are the only Christ (Christ-like) some people will ever meet.

Another priest that comes to mind is Father John Mary. My Gram had to undergo several surgeries recently, and the last one was an emergency surgery. For a while it was touch and go, and we feared we were going to lose her. The ICU nurses thought she wouldnt make it through the night. Shes doing a bit better now, the doctor says she’s half way up the mountain, but any set backs and be catasrophic. This priest, Father John Mary, has come in so many times to Anoint and Bless her. He talks to her and spends a little time with her, talking to her about Lent and God’s goodness and mercy.

I have to go but I’ll finish this post as soon as I can!! :slight_smile:

Jacob :signofcross:


#15

It is so beautiful to hear all these sentiments! It touches me tremendously to hear beautiful tributes given to our Priests. I wish some of them would have the chance to read this thread. Any priest reading this thread out there?


#16

I have known some wonderful priests, more wonderful ones than not-wonderful ones.

Fr. R was the chaplain at the university the first year I was there (1982). I loved his wonderful sense of humor and his down-to-earth demeanor. 5 or 6 years later I was looking for another parish when I walked into one near my house and lo and behold he was the pastor there! I spent 5 or 6 happy years there with him before he was transferred. While he was there, he officiated at our wedding. I took a “leave of absence” from church for about 5 or 6 years. When I was ready to come back, I found him at his new parish one afternoon, and he heard my confession. 5 or 6 years later, I was the sponsor for my nephew, and who was officiating at the confirmation in place of the bishop? Msgr. R. Afterwards I got a big hug from him.

Fr. P was pastor at the church I eventually joined after my return. He was a very kind soul. Ever so patient with my boys who were novice altar servers. When I had an issue with personnel from my boys’ school, he listened patiently to me and gave me advice that hastened peace-making. His advice was so simple, yet so contrary to the world’s values that I would never have “gone there” on my own.

Msgr. R is now our pastor. He is a wonderful homilist and a pretty decent confessor. My prayer when we were waiting for a new pastor to be assigned was that we would get one that wouldn’t scare off the altar servers. He answered that prayer well. Last year (his first Lent with us) I asked if we were going to have Stations of the Cross as in the past. He sent back an email saying sorry, it wouldn’t fit with his schedule. (which is understandable because he also heads the diocsean tribunal). About 30 minutes later I had another email saying “on second thought”. He is on his 2nd year of leading Stations of the Cross on Fridays - even though it is his day off. I have always appreciated that.

I pray often for our priests. And with Fr. P, every so often - every 4, 5, 6 months - we go to visit him at his new parish and take him to lunch.


#17

I think one of the many ways we can repay our Priests for the many good things they do for us is to treat them just like we would our own family members. I mean we should show them our love for them not in a very ethereal or pious way, but the common acts of kindness we show to people. I think their lives are hard because they are called to love everyone and nobody in particular, to be available to everyone without much time for themselves, to be a pillar of orthodoxy without appearing doubtful or weak, expecting them to have the right answer to everything which can be draining. I relate to our priests with the full realization that they are also sojourners with us on this earth. we are all pilgrims who need time to be with people we love, enjoy things people like, a good laugh, a good movie, dinner at home, good friends. They need to hear the truth about themselves, their accomplishments, their strengths and the difference they make in people’s lives. They need to be supported emotionally, socially and spiritually (hard to believe since we look to them for spiritual support). I think we should not “baby” our priests but affirm the value of the sacrifices they freely embraced.


#18

Lord, Bless your Priests, and all Religious! And God Bless you Sister Helena, thank you for all you do for us!


#19

With June 29 fast approaching, how do you plan to celebrate the Year of the Priest? What are your parishes planning to do, if any?


#20

So far, the only thing that has been done is that everyone was given a prayer card with a prayer for vocations, but that may not be connected with the Year of the Priest, but just for a prayer for vocations in general. Haven’t heard of anything else going on yet.


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