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Year for Priests opportunity for thanks, encouragement Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, May. 14, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
To the editor:
I rejoiced when Pope Benedict XVI declared a “Year for Priests.” This special year begins on June 19th and ends a year later.
A lay person whom I know hopes that the “Year for Priests” offers him and others opportunities to thank priests. Priests appreciate thanks, but there is more.
The pope declared this special year to encourage “spiritual perfection” in priests. He stated that the struggle for moral perfection must dwell in every authentically priestly heart. He added that without priestly ministry, there would be no Eucharist, no mission, and no Church. We priests must let Christ nourish us so we can feed others with the bread of the Word, Eucharist, prayer, and in other ways. People hunger for Christ-like priests.
Pope Benedict also stressed a correct reading by priests of the texts of the Vatican Council, interpreted in the light of all the Church’s doctrinal inheritance.
During this year the pope will proclaim St. John Vianney the patron saint of all priests. He models how a priest serves his flock.
The “Year for Priests” encourages us priests to grow. I await with hope the ways that bishops, parishes, and dioceses help to make this year a graced time of priestly enrichment.
In Christ,
Fr. Don Lange, Madison