Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Priestly Role-Models

February 16th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

The following comes from Pope Benedict, regarding April’s World Day of Prayer for Vocations. My comments are in red and italics.

?The fruitfulness of our efforts to promote vocations depends primarily on God?s free action, yet, as pastoral experience confirms, it is also helped by the quality and depth of the personal and communal witness of those who have already answered the Lord?s call to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life, for their witness is then able to awaken in others a desire to respond generously to Christ?s call.? *(The validity of this statement is undeniably true. Simply look around at all the various parishes in the diocese. Vocations are coming from those churches where there is a priest in charge, and where his role is unique and set apart from lay ministry. The young people perceive it to be “something special.”)
? ?[I]f young people see priests who appear distant and sad, they will hardly feel encouraged to follow their example. They will remain hesitant if they are led to think that this is the life of a priest. Instead, they need to see the example of a communion of life which can reveal to them the beauty of being a priest.? (How can the youth of Rochester learn from priests’ examples when many scoff at Tradition, wear casual clothes, not clericals, and act more as a “friend” rather than a “father?” What a massive difference between going up to the doors of various rectories in Rochester. When I went to a certain church downtown, I was greeted warmly by a priest in a house cassock. However, in a different area of the city, I was greeted by a priest (a very holy priest, mind you) who was wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals. Which encounter do you think spoke more to me? I can only imagine the impact such things would have on a youth.)
?It can be said that priestly vocations are born of contact with priests, as a sort of precious legacy handed down by word, example and a whole way of life.?
? ?Every priest, every consecrated person, faithful to his or her vocation, radiates the joy of serving Christ and draws all Christians to respond to the universal call to holiness. (How can our young people see joy in our priests if the priests are pushed aside in sanctuaries, at the word of the bishop, to make way for lay ministry? What possible joy can there be in that?) Consequently, in order to foster vocations to the ministerial priesthood and the consecrated life, and to be more effective in promoting the discernment of vocations, we cannot do without the example of those who have already said ?yes? to God and to his plan for the life of each individual. Personal witness, in the form of concrete existential choices, will encourage young people for their part to make demanding decisions affecting their future.? (If priests are truly “in persona Christi,” they should not be afraid to act with that authority. Priests have authority – and it’s an authority that can trump any lay administrator. Dear priests, stand up for yourselves. Do not be shackled by the emasculated culture in Rochester.) (VIS)

St. John Vianney, pray for us.
God bless Pope Benedict. 

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