Priests must identify with people who are excluded and not be blinded by complex theology, an excessively “bubbly” and watered-down spirituality, and worldliness that is more and more accessible in the digital age, Pope Francis said.
News in Priests
This month we are “losing” our parish priest – he is being deployed elsewhere in the diocese, and cannot be replaced because there is no one to replace him. What were within living memory seven independent parishes will be served by a single priest. It is challenging, exciting and sad (particularly for the congregations that will lose their Sunday Mass). I will, no doubt, be telling you all how we get on! But so far what it has done is made me think about “vocations”.
THE VOCATIONS crisis in Scotland has intensified with the expectation that there will be only one man ordained to the priesthood this year, writes Brian Morton.There were just three ordinations to the priesthood in Scotland in 2014, igniting fears that the Church may run out of priests in the foreseeable future.
Nearly 1,000 United States priests made their own a petition to the fathers of the upcoming Synod, originally made public and signed by nearly 500 English priests. The statement’s wording is exactly that of the English version, and urges the fathers of the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family to issue a “clear and firm” proclamation of Church teaching on marriage and sexuality.
Pope Francis presided over the ordination of nearly twenty men to the priesthood on Sunday, where he warned them against being vain priests who live first for their own pleasure rather than for God’s.
In the chaos of the Central African Republic, peace remains an illusion. But amidst the sectarian killings, the mob lynchings and mutilations, there are still some heroes. One of them is Catholic priest Xavier-Arnauld Fagba, who opened his church doors to protect nearly 700 Muslims from near-certain death.
Pope Francis, who will canonize "the Good Pope," recalled his predecessor as being holy, patient and a man of courage, especially by calling the Second Vatican Council. "He was a man who let himself be guided by the Lord," Pope Francis has said. Blessed John XXIII is remembered by many for his warmth, simplicity, social conscience and sense of humor.
The Bishops of England and Wales met with seminarians and staff from across the country at Walsingham on Saturday 14 September. The meeting followed similar meetings in 2010 at Oscott College during the Pope's State Visit to the UK and on the anniversary of that visit in 2011 at Westminster Cathedral.
There is something wonderfully implausible about the priesthood, something radical and even revolutionary. God bless the men who follow their calling to lead us all to something higher and more spectacular than the rest of the world can offer.
Cardinal O'Brien was told to leave Scotland by the Vatican following his resignation. "There would be a number of reasons for that, and looking around myself I think it would probably be wiser and more helpful for the future of the Church here if he were not to be back in the country."
The vocations director of Southwark Diocese has established a Vocations Missions Team for would-be seminarians in an effort to support their discernment and prevent them from being “John Boscos by day and John Travoltas by night”.
Two twin brothers in Chile say that their mother’s determination in protecting them from abortion despite the advice of doctors helped to foster their vocations to the priesthood. “How can I not defend the God of life?” said Fr. Paulo Lizama.
“Now ... you are to be raised to the Order of the Priesthood. For your part you will exercise the sacred duty of teaching in the name of Christ the Teacher. Impart to everyone the Word of God which you have received with joy. Remember your mothers, your grandmothers, your catechists, who gave you the Word of God, the faith ... the gift of faith!
Dear young people, do not be afraid to follow him and to walk the demanding and courageous paths of charity and generous commitment! In that way you will be happy to serve, you will be witnesses of a joy that the world cannot give, you will be living flames of an infinite and eternal love, you will learn to "give an account of the hope that is within you" (1 Pt 3:15)!
While there is no conclusive proof, there is evidence to suggest that women may indeed have acted as leaders in ancient Christianity.
On Sunday, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Benedict XVI asked families, communities and local parishes to help young men in discerning their vocation to the priesthood. “In particular, families are the first environment into which ‘breathes’ the love of God, which gives inner strength even in the midst of the difficulties and trials of life.”
A priest from the Diocese of Salford has spoken passionately about the importance of developing “recovery communities” at an event to mark the launch of a pioneering project. Fr James McCartney, chief executive of the Blackburn-based charity THOMAS, talked about the challenge of turning people away from “the chaos of addiction” during a keynote speech to statutory and voluntary sector organisations.