Sunday, July 5, 2009

Year for Priests: "Lord, Send Us Many Holy Priests"

This is a year for priests, starting June 19, 2009 and running through June 19, 2010.

It's not so much a recruitment campaign, as a year for renewed commitment and encouragement of those who already are Catholic priests:
"...[director of the Vatican press office, Jesuit] Father [Federico] Lombardi affirmed that the Year for Priests, which began Friday and runs through next June, responds to struggles caused by various factors: 'the general climate of secularization in vast regions of the world, a lessened appreciation for the role of the priest in society, the deep wounds inflicted on the public image of priests due to unworthy behavior by some of them, and even the worthy valuing of the lay vocation in the Church.'

"Faced with these difficulties, the spokesman continued, 'the Pope does not respond with socio-religious considerations, but by promoting a commitment to interior renewal on the part of all priests, so that their Gospel testimony in the world of today is more intense and weighty.'..." (Zenit)
There's more in the Zenit article, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a sort of insider's guide which I think Catholic Laypeople might also find useful: Don't expect to find much about the Year for Priests in traditional news media, though. There isn't anything particularly interesting in a secular way about this program: no racy photos; scandalous emails; or bold social engineering intended to improve - or at least change - the nature of humanity.

The Year for Priests is just the more of the same call to holiness that the Church has been passing along for about two millennia.

A Prayer for Priests

I haven't tracked down where this prayer comes from, but I've heard it, or something like it, quite often. I think it's appropriate for this time:

"Lord, send us priests.

"Lord, send us many priests.

"Lord, send us many holy priests."

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.