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

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cancer-surviving priest's lesson on suffering

We first saw this story over at The Deacon's Bench and wanted to pass it along.

Msgr. Marc Trudeau, secretary to Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, recently spoke about his bout with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to The Tidings archdiocesan newspaper and celebrated a "Pray for a Cure for Cancer" Mass and anointing.

In recounting the grueling treatment for the disease, which was diagnosed in 2008, Msgr. Trudeau talked about the psychological and spiritual effects the disease had on him. And how it is allowing him to better understand the suffering of those to whom he ministers.

"... it was very difficult. But you come to understand a lot better what people are going through," he told The Tidings. "Somebody tells you that their mother has cancer and she's going through treatment. You always would say, 'I'll pray for her.' Well, I know exactly what they're going through, and I know what kind of prayer that they need."

Click HERE to read the entire story.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Archbishop uses media to spread Gospel

As has been widely noted in the blogosphere, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York has recently started a blog, The Gospel in the Digital Age.

But that's not the only new way he's spreading the Good News in his archdiocese and beyond. As Catholic News Agency reports today, the archbishop recently announced plans to celebrate televised Masses at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

“I’m not doing this to make this a bully pulpit or to attract attention…but I do think it’s probably a valued part of being the Archbishop of New York – that you would recognize, realistically, that you do have a good pulpit and people are going to listen to what you say,” Archbishop Dolan told EWTN's "The World Over Live."

Monday, October 26, 2009

'Alongside of life, always'

An Italian World War II chaplain is among the beati of the Catholic Church after a ceremony yesterday in Milan, Italy.

Father Carlo Gnocchi served as a chaplain during the war, then started a foundation in 1947 to help children who were disabled as a consequence of the war.

During his Sunday Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI described Blessed Gnocchi as having given "all of himself to the very end," and even after his 1956 death in Milan, since his corneas were donated to two blind boys.

Click HERE to read more about Father Gnocchi.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Catholic priest's take on Anglican structure

Father Dwight Longenecker, himself a former Anglican, has offered his insights on Vatican's announcement of a special structure for Anglicans who want to be in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Click HERE to read what he posted on Inside Catholic and HERE to see what he says on his blog Standing on My Head.

h/t to Mark Shea's Catholic and Enjoying It!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Priest's silver to help homeless

Father Guy Blair of Green Bay, Wis., is hoping to turn the silver he inherited from his mother into cash that will aid his parish's homeless shelter.

As reported, he is auctioning off 14 silver items, including five urns that date back to the 1790s, vases, along with coffee and tea pots, that he and his siblings inherited when their mother died over the summer. He hopes the items, which have a minimum total bid of $21,000, bring in $50,000 for St. John the Evangelist shelter.

And while it may be tempting to see this move as some sort of response to comedian Sarah Silverman's admonishment to the pope to sell the Vatican in order to feed the hungry, it should be noted that Father Blair, who is a member of the Sacred Heart Fathers, has long been a champion of the homeless, earning the honor of Person of the Year from the Green Bay Press Gazette for his efforts. (Click HERE to read related story.)

"As a spiritual leader I need to stand up for the people we are praying for," he told the newspaper. "I have to speak and act as a follower of Jesus."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Power and Grace of Saints

An exhibit that recently opened in Rome displays the saints of Europe as depicted some of the finest painters who ever lived ... Caravaggio, El Greco, Tiziano and Van Eyck, just to name a few.

The visionary behind the exhibit "Power and Grace: The Holy Patrons of Europe" is a priest, Father Alessio Geretti, from Illegio, a tiny village in the Carnia region of the Alps.

Father Geretti told Chiesa that one reason for the exhibit is to help contemporary Europe reconnect with its Christian roots. He said: "In the Europe of pluralism and democracy, holiness is the most convincing form that a religion can take. The lives of the saints persuade without constraining. I truly believe that in this age – which, as Paul VI said, does not so much need teachers as witnesses – the saints are still the face of a Church that has the ability to speak to the heart of the people and to bring the dominant culture into crisis, unmasking all of its inhumanity."

Click HERE to read the entire story about Father Geretti and his exhibit. h/t to New Advent.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Posthumous honor for chaplain

Korean War chaplain Father Emil Kapaun, whose canonization cause has been opened, could receive the Medal of Honor for his bravery and dedication to his men. Outgoing Secretary of the Army Pete Geren has recommended the military’s highest decoration.

According to Stars & Stripes newspaper:

"Father Kapaun was captured by the Chinese in the fall of 1950, when Communist forces overran the 1st Cavalry Division in northern Korea near the Chinese border. American commanders had ordered their forces to retreat, but Kapaun, a Catholic priest with the 3rd Battalion, refused and stayed to care for the men who couldn’t flee."

Click HERE to read more about the courageous chaplain and his canonization cause.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An ace up his sleeve

Last week, we told you about Father Andrew Trapp, a young South Carolina priest who was going to appear on a poker-related TV game show. We're happy to provide an update on Father Trapp, who won a whopping $100,000 playing against some of the top players in the country.

Father Trapp will donate all of his earnings to his parish, St. Michael's Church in Garden City, S.C., and will have the chance to return to the game show to vie for the top prize — $ million.

Click HERE to read the story.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pastoral care of the sick

During this Year For Priests, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, has asked Catholics who suffer from ailments and health providers who care for them to pray for priests, who represent Christ, "the Divine Physician."

The archbishop's Oct. 1 letter, which was addressed to bishops, priests and "sick and suffering brothers and sisters," reads, in part:

I am near to each one of you and I invite you, dear sick brothers and sisters, to unceasingly address your prayers and the offering up of your sufferings to the Lord of life for the holiness of your well loved priests, so that they can with devotion and pastoral charity perform the ministry that is entrusted to them by Christ, the physician of bodies and souls. I exhort you to rediscover the beauty of the prayer of the Holy Rosary for the spiritual benefit of priests, in a special way during the month of October. In addition to this, every first Thursday and every first Friday of the month, which are respectively dedicated to devotion to the Eucharist and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, are days that are particularly suited to participation in Holy Mass and adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament.

Click HERE to read the entire document

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mourning a 'priest's priest'

People in the Diocese of Wilmington are recalling fondly Bishop Emeritus Michael Salterelli, who succumbed to cancer Thursday at the age of 77.

The Jersey City boy who loved being a parish priest is being remembered for expanding outreach to Hispanic Catholics in his diocese and for his strong pro-life stance — speaking out against embryonic stem-cell research and abortion.

But he was most proud, according to a Delaware paper, of the fact he ordained 23 men to the priesthood during his time as bishop. He also ordained 47 men as permanent deacons.

"Their courage amazes me, inspires me and humbles me," he once said. "Our seminarians are the heroes of the day."

Click HERE to read more about Bishop Salterelli and his legacy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A reflection on the priesthood

The Catholic University of America has wrapped up a two-day symposium on what it means to be a priest. Part of the university's celebration of the Year for Priests, the event featured five speakers reflecting on the "Ministerial Priesthood in the Third Millennium: Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests."

Topics included the biblical foundations of the priesthood and the priest as evangelizer.

Want to see what was said at the symposium? Click HERE for videos of talks from the event.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A reluctant jubilee

A golden jubilee is a big deal, right? Not to Franciscan Friar of the Renewal Father Benedict J. Groeschel, whose 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination was in June. On Oct. 18, there will be a big celebration Mass to mark the occasion in Nutley, N.J.

As Father Groeschel told writer Tom Hoopes for the Oct. 18 issue of OSV, the celebration wasn't his idea. "I totally dislike the whole thing. I never wanted to have any celebration of my 50th. I don't believe in these things," he said. "Ordained priests should celebrate their anniversary by putting a rope around their neck and ashes on their heads and asking God forgiveness for their sins."

The organizers were able to get his approval by using the event to raise money for Good Counsel Homes for homeless pregnant women and children, which he co-founded.

Click HERE to read the entire story.

'The Medicine of God'

Pope Benedict XVI devoted his Wednesday general audience to St. John Leonardi, the 16th century priest who founded the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God and who is the patron saint of pharmacists.

St. John Leonardi, the pontiff told the audience, "was convinced that Christ is the true measure of man, and so he worked with great realism and zeal to promote holiness and the reform of society. During this Year for Priests, may the figure of this great missionary inspire priests and laity alike to 'start anew from Christ' and embrace their vocation with passionate enthusiasm."

Monday, October 5, 2009

He knows when to hold 'em

Priest, pastor, poker player? A young South Carolina priest is showing off his poker skills on a new game show.

Father Andrew Trapp, 28, has flown to Los Angeles to be on "PokerStars.Net Million Dollar Challenge," a new Fox TV game show in which contestants play the game with Poker Pro Daniel Negreanu.

Father Trapp told the Myrtle Beach Sun News that whatever money he wins will be donated to St. Michael Catholic Church in Garden City Beach, where he is assistant pastor.

"I don't need money myself," he told the paper. "The church pays for all my basic needs."

Click HERE to read the entire story.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Walking the walk (and running the run)

More than 150 priests, seminarians and laypeople are in the final stages training for the Marine Corps Marathon as part of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.'s Run for Vocations program.

The team members will walk or run either in the 26.2-mile marathon, the 13.1-mile half marathon or the 10K race on Oct. 25, all to raise money for a fund that covers unexpected costs for the archdiocese's seminarians. (Click HERE to read OSV's story about the program, and similar ones in Indianapolis and Honolulu.)

But the money is only part of the point, as Msgr. Robert Panke, the archdiocese's vocations director tells OSV. It's also about raising awareness that every Catholic is called to promote and foster vocations.

Participants not only slog through long miles associated with training for long-distance races, they also have meetings where they get to interact with seminarians, such as Nathaniel Hurd.

Hurd, who is in his first year at Theological College at The Catholic University of America, is training for the marathon. He joined the team in 2007 as a layman, then ran the marathon last year as someone who was seriously discerning a call to the priesthood.

"It’s a great opportunity. It open the doors to great conversations," he tells OSV. "It makes it easier to witness to vocation of the priesthood."

Hurd, 32, who joined the Church in 2005, adds that the the most inspiring part of the team is the generosity and commitment of the lay volunteers. "In their love for seminarians and priests, you see their love for Christ."

Hurd says it's especially exciting to be running for his fellow seminarians now, during the Year for Priests. "To be a part of that, as a seminarian, as a runner, as a Catholic, as a convert ... it’s a special time for the Church and priests, and I’m happy to be doing it as well."