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Retired priest appreciates article about happy priests Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

I enjoyed Nancy Frazier O’ Brien’s article (October 13 issue) which was based on a recent talk by Msgr. Robert Panke, president of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors.

Monsignor Panke stated, “Prayer is key to happy and healthy priests. A priest who prays at least 30 minutes a day “is less likely to be emotionally exhausted because Christ is feeding him.”

When I visited the late Fr. Joe Brickl at a Waunakee nursing home, he excused himself to pray the Rosary with a group. He often prayed it alone, but he liked praying it with a group because “where two or three are gathered, I am in your midst.” I value his insight.

Monsignor Panke noted that 80 percent of seminarians say a priest’s encouragement was a primary factor in their decision to become a priest. But only 30 percent of priests say they have given such encouragement. I thank God for priests who encouraged me to consider priesthood.

Monsignor Panke stressed that retired priests are the happiest priests. Presiding and preaching at Mass helps us to be happy because priesthood is in our bones and blood. Sharing our priesthood gives us joy. When invited, most retired priests preach and preside well. To you who invite us to serve, thank you!

Fr. Don Lange, Sinsinawa