Have you ever considered a vocation to the priesthood or the religious life?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wrapping up the Year for Priests

Now that the Year for Priests officially ended June 11 (check below for video of the concluding celebration in Rome — what a sea of white vestments!), it is time for us to sign off on our Priest Year News blog.

Thank you for visiting this blog within the past year. We have aimed to share with you interesting stories of priests from all over the globe — sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes humorous — so we could all learn what an amazing group of men we have leading us closer to Christ.

It is our hope that you continue to pray for the world's priests, that they may be inspired and uplifted as they continue to guide the Church's faithful. Let us end with this prayer for priests, which can be here.

Please Pray for Priests

Dear Lord, we pray that the Blessed Mother wrap her mantle around your priests and through her intercession strengthen them for their ministry.

We pray that Mary will guide your priests to follow her own words, “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).

May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph, Mary’s most chaste spouse.

May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart inspire them to embrace all who suffer at the foot of the cross.

May your priests be holy, filled with the fire of your love seeking nothing but your greater glory and the salvation of souls.


Saint John Vianney, pray for us.

And remember, even though the year is over, we will continue to have resources on OSV's website at www.osv.com/priestyear.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pope and priests celebrate year's finale

Speaking to the 15,000 priests from around the world who had gathered in Rome this week, Pope Benedict XVI closed the Year for Priests with Mass in St. Peter's Square. In his homily, called on priests to remain courageous and humble, addressing the pain caused by the clergy sex abuse crisis:

"This audacity of God Who entrusts Himself to human beings (Who, conscious of our weaknesses, nonetheless considers men capable of acting and being present in His stead) this audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word 'priesthood'. ...This is what we wanted to reflect upon and appreciate anew over the course of the past year. We wanted to reawaken our joy at how close God is to us, ... we also wanted to demonstrate once again to young people that this vocation, this fellowship of service for God and with God, does exist."

"It was to be expected that this new radiance of the priesthood would not be pleasing to the 'enemy'; he would have rather preferred to see it disappear, so that God would ultimately be driven out of the world. And so it happened that, in this very year of joy for the Sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light — particularly the abuse of the little ones. ... We too insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again; and that in admitting men to priestly ministry and in their formation we will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey."

"Had the Year for Priests been a glorification of our individual human performance, it would have been ruined by these events. But for us what happened was precisely the opposite: we grew in gratitude for God's gift, a gift concealed in 'earthen vessels' which ever anew, even amid human weakness, makes His love concretely present in this world. So let us look upon all that happened as a summons to purification, as a task which we bring to the future and which makes us acknowledge and love all the more the great gift we have received from God. In this way, His gift becomes a commitment to respond to God's courage and humility by our own courage and our own humility."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hockey-loving priest prays for Blackhawks

Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers will face off in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and at least one Chicago-area priest likely will be praying overtime for a 'Hawks win. Because Chicago leads the best-of-seven series 3-2, the Blackhawks will be hoisting Lord Stanley's trophy if they beat the Flyers tonight.

Meet Father Marty Michniewicz, a Calumet City, Ill., priest who is such a big Blackhawks fan that he has adorned his rectory office in black and red, Chicago's colors. The priest was recently profiled by WLS-TV in Chicago.

Father Michniewicz, whose love of hockey extends beyond just the Blackhawks, has even incorporated the sport into his parish ministry, especially on the importance of working as a team: "It's just like a hockey team, I'll say. I'll say you need your goalies, your finesse players. They all form a team. As a parish, we all have something to offer and something to form the body of Christ, the church, the team, whatever."

Of course, Chicago and Philadelphia are both great Catholic cities. Might there be a priest in the Philadelphia area sending up prayers for a Flyers win?

Click HERE to read more of WLS-TV's story on Father Michniewicz.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Study: Priests are tech-savvy

A new study shows that priests should have no problem heeding Pope Benedict's suggestion that they use new media to reach their flocks. According to the study, worldwide, 94.7 percent of priests use the Internet daily. The Vatican-supported study, conducted by the New Media Education Lab at the Universita della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland, and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, asked 4,992 priests from 117 countries to respond to questions about how they use digital technology to do their job and about its effectiveness in spreading the Gospel.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pope Benedict: Priesthood of Christ

During his Corpus Christi homily Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI asked the faithful to meditate on the priesthood of Christ, and its relationship to the Eucharist:

In the Eucharist, the pontiff said, "Jesus anticipated his sacrifice; not a ritual but a personal sacrifice. At the Last Supper, his acts were moved by that 'eternal spirit' with which He would subsequently give Himself up to the cross. Giving thanks and blessing, Jesus transformed the bread and wine. It is divine love that transforms: the love with which Jesus accepted in advance to give himself for us. This love is the Holy Spirit, the Sprit of the Father and of the Son, which consecrates the bread and wine and alters their substance into the Body and Blood of the Lord, making present in the sacrament the sacrifice which would be cruelly realized on the cross."

"It is divine power, the same power that created the incarnation of the Word, that transforms extreme violence and extreme injustice into a supreme act of love and justice," the pope concluded. "This is the work of the priesthood of Christ, which the Church has inherited and extends through history, in the dual form of the common priesthood of the baptized and the ordained priesthood of ministers, so as to transform the world with the love of God."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Year for Priests finale is coming soon

Around 9,000 priests from all over the world are expected to come to Rome next week for the concluding celebrations of the Year for Priests.

As has been widely expected, Pope Benedict XVI will officially declare St. John Vianney the patron of all the world's priest. Currently, the Cure of Ars is the patron of parish priests. The pontiff will do so at a Mass on June 11, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the final day of the Year for Priests.

Click HERE for more information on the International Meeting of Priests or check out the video below:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Do priests retire?

The answer is yes, they do retire from active ministry, but many priests don't just sit back and relax in their "golden years." In the June 13 issue of OSV, writer Maryann Gogniat Eidemiller introduces readers to five priests who have not slowed down.

One, Father Jacob Mosbrucker, 73, serves on several nonprofit boards that work for social justice and fills in at parishes on the weekends.

Another, Father William Swift of Tulsa, 90, gets up at 4:30 every morning so he can be ready to celebrate the early morning Mass at a local parish.

Eidemiller also profiles two Jesuit priests, Fathers Robert McCown (pictured) and Father Thomas Jenniskens, who noted artists. And another Jesuit, Father Rodney Kissinger, who still leads retreats, including email retreats.

Click HERE to read more about these inspiring priests.