The Holy Father's Exhortation on the Priesthood

"The witness of a priestly life well lived brings nobility to the Church, calls forth admiration among the faithful, and is a source of blessings for the community; it is the best way to promote vocations, the most authentic invitation to other young people to respond positively to the Lord's call. It is true collaboration in building the Kingdom of God!"

—Pope Benedict XVI, Meeting with clergy and religious in Aparecida, Brazil, May 12, 2007

Why 40 Days for Priests?

Campaign #2 (Nov 28 - Jan 06) has new reasons. Read them.

Who is the salvation of humanity? Jesus Christ. How did He create the means to achieve salvation? The Sacraments of His Church. Who offers us the means of these Sacraments? His priests!

Everyone has seen in their lives, and parishes, and in their families, the increase in the stress on Catholic priests, and the simultaneous attack on the priesthood in general.

The Priesthood is at the core of our Faith. Our priests sanctify, preach, and lead in their threefold office of Priest, Prophet and King. They forgive our sins by the power of Confession. They give us the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. They Baptize us, and our children. They often Confirm us in the Faith, and they are there for us in our last moments, with Extreme Unction aka Anointing of the Sick. Lastly, they make new priests by Ordination, by the hands of the Apostles, our bishops, the fullness of Priesthood.

The Priesthood gives to us all the means of our santification, and it is often a thankless job, or stressful job even when thankful. Let us list some of the ways priests suffer now:
  • Being overworked, spread too thin, or stressed from the demands.
  • False allegations.
  • Weakness in true allegations.
  • Lack of support from parishioners or even fellow priests.
  • Firm faith and preaching causes isolation.
  • Empathy for disenfranchised groups causes isolation.
  • Depression and loneliness.
  • Alcoholism or drug dependency.
  • Derision from non-Catholics.
  • Derision from Catholics.
  • Lack of trust on the part of laity or the public because of scandals.
  • Normal human tempatations.
  • Fear of persecution for speaking up on cultural issues.
  • Poor formation or lack of continuing formation.
  • Temptations of the world around them.
  • ... and the list goes on and on.
Compelled by a desire to doing something more productive than spend time on Facebook, we envisioned and put into place in three short days the 40 Days for Priests.  There is no set time for this devotion. There are no set prayers for this devotion, though we offer have, and are adding, a wide variety of prayers for priests.  See the labels section for kinds of prayers in the right hand column.

Please, choose a devotion, and begin 40 days of prayer for the priests that YOU know, and for all priests, bishops, deacons and seminarians.  We have priests ask me to pray for them all the time. Respond to the call by forsaking time spent on Facebook or other things, and make a 40 day devotion for the sanctification of the clergy.  God will reward you in many, MANY ways for your faith in His Church, and His priests!

God bless you, and all for whom you are bound to pray!
Embracing the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal, Campaign #2

There have been three reactions to the new translation of the Missal of Paul VI, put into use this week for the First Sunday of Advent, 2011:
  1. Resistance by progressive or liberally-minded Catholics.
  2. Embracing by conservatively or traditionally minded Catholics.
  3. General belief by traditional Mass followers that the revised Missal fixed the translation problems of the previous Missal and will be good for the Church at large.
We who started 40 Days for Priests heartily except the new Missal as a desperately needed improvement in the sacred character of the ordinary form of the Mass, and are praying specifically for the priests, bishops, religious and laity in group #1 above are bought to greater holiness and fidelity to Holy Mother Church because of the new and improved Missal.  We also pray for group #2 to be spiritually edified by the new Missal and enjoy the fruits of more devoutly worded worship, and we join group #3 in hoping that the improved translation causes a growth in respect for traditional worship and practice by all Catholics

To these ends, please pray that both the new and old Rites of Mass will continue always to grow in holiness and fidelity to what we pray, and what we believe... since the Law of Prayer is the Law of Belief.  We pray that the Holy Spirit will use the revised Missal as a way to open hearts and minds to the finite majesty of God.

Again... God bless you, and all for whom you are bound to pray!