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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Needed: Priests with spiritual muscle

That's what Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, secretary for the Congregation for Clergy, told journalists in Rome last week as he reflected on the fruits of the Year for Priests, which runs until June 2010.

Such interior strength can be obtained through "prayer, the interior life and true motivation."

In his talk, the archbishop gave a couple of examples of people whom priests could use as role models as they do their heavy lifting: St. John Vianney, the Cure D'Ars, and St. Therese of Lisieux.

Click HERE to read more of what Archbishop Piacenza said.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Year for Priests initiatives

The Dec. 6 issue of OSV has a story by Carlos Briceno on ways some dioceses are recognizing their pastors during this jubilee year.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W.Va., for example, has been compiling historical exhibits that have been displayed at the diocesan chancery and are also made available on the diocesan website.

Click HERE to read the entire story. And let us know what your diocese or parish is doing to celebrate the jubilee year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Priesthood's role in the Mass

Father Mauro Gagliardi, consultor of the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, recently wrote about the special role of the priest in celebrating the Mass.

He writes, in part:

As we see, St. John Mary [Vianney] points to the greatness of the priest with the privileged reference to the power that he exercises in the sacraments in the name of the Person of Christ. Benedict XVI brought this light, citing still other words of the Curé d'Ars, which refer in particular to the office of celebrating the Holy Eucharist. The Pope writes that the saint "was convinced that the fervor of a priest's life depended entirely upon the Mass: 'The reason why a priest is lax is that he does not pay attention to the Mass! My God, how we ought to pity a priest who celebrates as if he were engaged in something routine!'"

Click HERE to read the entire piece.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Faith over the airwaves

Intermountain Catholic News — the diocesan newspaper of Salt Lake City — has an interesting story about a priest who is using mass media to reach Catholics. Father Omar Ontiveiros hosts the 15-minute-long Bendiciendo tu día (“Blessing Your Day”), which blends a positive spiritual blessing with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

“We want to do what John Paul II told us” he said, “we were in need of a New Evangelization, with new values and new methods,” Father Ontiveiros said.

Click HERE to read the entire story.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Importance of sexual morality

Catholic News Agency reports on a talk by Bishop John M. D'Arcy, whose retirement as bishop of the Fort Wayne – South Bend, Ind., diocese, was recently announced, in which he spoke on the importance of priests remaining faithful to the Church's teachings on sexual morality.

“Fidelity to the truth for the priest means that he is willing to give the hard saying,” the bishop told priests of the diocese. “Hard for himself, perhaps because he does not believe it strongly enough; because he thinks it it is too hard for the people and they might reject it. Or, a greater temptation, he may worry that they might reject him.”

“I ask this question to you and to myself: have we been faithful to the truth and willing to give people the hard saying? My dear priests, I ask this question to myself in prayer and repentance and in truth, seeking only to know His will and to do it.”

Click HERE to read entire story.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Priest's mosaic art a form of prayer

A Texas priest turns discarded beer and wine bottles into beautiful mosaics that depict both religious and secular topics. Father Jairo Lopez, of Marble Falls, Texas, tells The Austin American-Statesman that creating the art, which he began doing in 1999, is a form of prayer for him:

"It's become part of my prayer life, my spirituality. Sometimes it's best being almost in the dark and looking at something you've created. What can you change to improve it?

"When you meditate, you see the beauty of God in the materials, the colors and the textures."

Click HERE to read the entire story.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting a kick out of peace

Colombian and Venezuelan priests will play soccer at a field on the border to promote peace between the two South American countries. This comes after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made threats against its neighbor to the west.

Bishop Jaime Prieto Amaya of Cucuta, Colombia said the priests will wear white as a "sign of purity and of the dignity of the children of God, in order to affirm that there is no room for armed confrontation in the hearts of those who love peace.”

Click HERE to read more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fr. Edward Matocha helped form diocese

From the Austin (TX) American-Statesman:

"When Edward Matocha came to Austin in 1947, he was the only ordained Catholic priest in the area. Over the next 60 years, he helped start the Austin Diocese, stood in as second in command to its bishops and became, in the eyes of other church leaders, the anchor and the history of the diocese.

"Matocha, 88, died Wednesday....

"Matocha was named chancellor of the Austin Diocese about 1949 and given the duties of witnessing signatures on important documents and acting as the diocese's archivist, according to the diocese. About the same time, he served as the chaplain of Seton Hospitals. He served as secretary to his friend Bishop Louis J. Reicher and was the founding pastor of St. Louis Catholic Church on Burnet Road in North Austin in 1952...."

Read the entire story here»

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fr. Benedict Groeschel's Jubilee: A video tribute

H/T to American Papist:

Our Sunday Visitor publishes a number of Fr. Groeschel's books. We're donating the net royalties on all his books during November 2009. Read more details and find ordering links here»

Indian priest's film to be featured

According to the pakistanchristian.tv web site, Indian priest Fr. Joseph J. Palacka's documentary film, "Kerala, the Cradle of Christianity in South Asia: The Cultural Interface of Music and Religion," will be shown at the 7th Queens International Film Festival, scheduled for Nov. 12-15, 2009.

The 34-minute filme, a musical, will be shown on Nov. 14.

Six million Christians live in Kerala, located on the southwest coast of India.

According to the web site, "This film explores the historical embeddings of these traditions that came about as a result of the region's commercial, cultural, and religious interactions with the Middle East, Europe, and America."

Read about it here»

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nature-loving fathers

Priests spend so much time tending to their flocks, but that doesn't mean they don't enjoy getting a chance for recreation. For some, that means spending time in the great outdoors hunting and fishing.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a profile of a priest, Father Christopher Wenthe of Delano, Minn., who enjoys hunting deer, as well as fishing. Father Wenthe told the newspaper his primary enjoyment is being in the great outdoors, but he also enjoys the challenge of finding his game.

As to the naysayers who oppose hunting, Father Wenthe has this response: Intellectually, obviously, we don't need to hunt. But what does that mean, exactly? We need to eat. Not necessarily animals that we hunt; we obviously don't need to eat those exclusively. But if it's wrong to eat any kind of animal, it would be wrong to hunt. And except for a minority of people who believe it wrong to eat animals, there seems through history not to be an objection." (Click HERE to read entire story.)

Father Wenthe is certainly not the only man of the cloth who is adept at handling a shotgun or fishing rod. In fact, Father Joseph Classen, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Mo., has written about his love of the outdoors — and how it has helped him recognize God in the abundance of nature — in books such as "Hunting for God, Fishing for the Lord" and "Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice." (Click HERE to learn more about his books.)

"Having a fishing rod, a walking stick, or a gun/bow in hand is simply a doorway to the true refreshment that comes from being immersed in the beauty of God's creation," Father Classen writes in "Hunting for God, Fishing for the Lord." "While catching a ice fish or harvesting that big ol' buck is icing on the cake, there are still many lessons one learns while trying to eat that cake."

Monday, November 2, 2009

A 'gentle priest' remembered

Over the weekend, more than a thousand people attended the funeral for Father Edward Hinds, a 61-year-old parish priest at St. Patrick Church in Chatham, N.J., who was slain Oct. 23.

Father Hinds was remembered for his gentleness and for seeing all people as the children of God no matter how high or low they may have been in society.

"[Father Hinds] and I used to have our monthly talk over cookies and tea.I realized how transparent he was, and how pure his soul. … He knew the God who lived at the core of his being," recalled Msgr. Kenneth Lasch, a retired priest who delivered the eulogy.

Click HERE to read more about Father Hinds.