Tag Archives: priest

Saint Gaetano Catanoso –a saint for the Year of the Priest

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Many think that Saint John Vianney is the only canonized
parish priest. Vianney is certainly the most known for his extraordinary life.
And it helps that popes and other notable authors have drawn our attention to
him. But there is another saint who has a persuasive personality who is also a
parish priest and worthy of our attention. In this Year of the Priest it fitting to have yet another intercessor before God. Today the Church celebrates the
liturgical memorial of Saint Gaetano Catanoso.

Pope Benedict XVI canonized him on October 23, 2005. In
the homily of the Mass of Canonization said:

Saint Gaetano
Catanoso was a lover and apostle of the Holy Face of Jesus. “The Holy Face,” he
affirmed, “is my life. He is my strength”. With joyful intuition he joined
this devotion to Eucharistic piety.

He would say: “If we wish to adore the real
Face of Jesus…, we can find it in the divine Eucharist, where with the Body
and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Face of Our Lord is hidden under the white veil
of the Host.”

Daily Mass and frequent adoration of the Sacrament of the Altar
were the soul of his priesthood: with ardent and untiring pastoral charity he
dedicated himself to preaching, catechesis, the ministry of confession, and to
the poor, the sick and the care of priestly vocations. To the Congregation of
the Daughters of Saint Veronica, Missionaries of the Holy Face, which he founded,
he transmitted the spirit of charity, humility and sacrifice which enlivened
his entire life.

More of Saint Gaetano can be read here.

The American cousin of the saint has a book on Saint Gaetano Catanoso, see it at this link.

Dolan’s 4 step recipe for priestly vocations

Speaking to the Serra Club dinner, renown for fostering vocations to
the priesthood, diocesan and religious orders, Archbishop Timothy Dolan
outlined 4 priorities:

Dolan & Estban 09.jpg

Emphasize the vocation of marriage and family:”Taking care of the first crisis
will take care of the second,” said Archbishop Dolan. “Vocations to the
priesthood and religious life come from lifelong, life-giving faithful

2. Re-create a culture
of vocations: “There were no good old days in the Church. Every era in Church
history has its horrors and difficulties. We need to recapture the
climate/tenor/tone/ambiance in the Church where a boy or man isn’t afraid to
publicly say, ‘I want to be a priest,’ and where his family, relatives,
neighbors, parish, priest, sisters, teachers and even non-Catholics are
robustly supportive.”

3. The laity need to not be afraid to ask their priests
to help them be holy: “For a faithful Catholic, a priest is essential for
growth in holiness because he gives us the sacraments, and without the
sacraments we can’t be holy. When you ask us to help you be holy, we realize
that we must be holy, and you remind us that there is something unique in the
Church that only a priest can do.”

4. Priests must be reminded that they are here to help the laity
get to heaven: “A priest is an icon of the beyond, the eternal, the transcendent.
Heaven gives us hope and meaning in life.”

New Haven natives preparing for priesthood

Baptist 041.jpgOver the years New Haven area Catholics have nurtured the vocations of many men to the priesthood or religious life. In the coming days I am hoping to write more about those who have said “yes” to the Lord in His call to religious life and priesthood. But for the moment let me note here those from the New Haven area that are studying for a religious order or a diocese:

Ken Dagliere, Archdiocese of Hartford, Holy Apostles Seminary, Cromwell, CT
James Onofrio, Archdiocese of Hartford, Neumann House, St Joseph Seminary, Yonkers, NY
Gabriel Scasino, Conventual Franciscans, Forestville, MD
Paul Zalonski, Diocese of Bridgeport, St Joseph Seminary, Yonkers, NY
In the last few years Capuchin Father Charles Sammons and Fathers John Lavorgna and David Manna (priests for the Archdiocese of Hartford) were ordained priests and all from the greater New Haven area.
If there are others let me know.

New vocation video: Ordination 2009

NY Ordination 2009.jpg… the character of the Good Shepherd is branded on your hearts.. at ordination. 

A powerful video of the 2009 priesthood ordination rites in the Archdiocese of New York is link here.
The video is bone-chillingly beautiful.
The video was produced by Grassroots Films.
Contact Father Luke Sweeney, the NY vocation director, fr. luke.sweeney @archny.org.

Priesthood is enlightened by reason & freedom, Archbishop Piacenza said

Mauro Piacenza.jpg

“Are you resolved, with the help of the Holy Spirit,
to discharge without fail the office of the priesthood in the presbyteral order
as a conscientious fellow worker with the Bishop in caring for the Lord’s

The Archbishop-Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy,
Mauro Piacenza, wrote to the world’s priests on July 15th reflecting on the
liturgical theology that identifies and supports the theology of priesthood.
Now that we are clearly in the Year of the Priest we have to make solid effort
at connecting our daily prayer for priests (and, those preparing for
ordination) and education on what the Church believes and teaches about the
priesthood. This year dedicated to the priesthood is not only directed to
renewal and reform of the priesthood but also conversion of the entire Church. The
year of priestly renewal is not merely centered on prayer for the local priest (which
is most essential) but also a time for some intellectual formation for both
priest and people. So, the proposal of the Pope is that we give a sufficient
attention to both prayer and education, not one or the other. I’d like to note
that I find myself disappointed to see the lack of a public of storming heaven
for the graces of renewal but also the lack of sufficient discussion of what
the Church teaches and believes. What to do? In the meantime, Archbishop
Piacenza offers a number of juicy tidbits to consider. He said in part:

Church, in her maternal wisdom, has always taught that the ministry is born of
the encounter of two freedoms: divine and human. If on the one hand one must
always recall that, “no one claims this office for himself; he is called to it
by God
” (CCC n.1578), on the other hand, clearly, it is always a “human and
created I”, with his own story and identity, with his own qualities and also
his own limitations, who responds to the divine call.

liturgical-sacramental translation of this asymmetric and necessary dialogue
between the divine freedom which calls and the human freedom
which responds is
represented by the questions which each of us has had addressed to him by the
Bishop during the rite our own ordination, immediately prior to the imposition
of hands. We shall revisit together in the months ahead this “dialogue of love
and freedom”.

have been asked, “Are you resolved, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to
discharge without fail the office of the priesthood in the presbyteral order as
a conscientious fellow worker with the Bishop in caring for the Lord’s flock?”
We answered, “I Am”

free and conscious response is based, therefore, on an explicit act of the will
(“Are you resolved to discharge the office”, “I am”) which, as we know well,
requires to be continuously enlightened by the judgement of reason and
sustained by freedom, so as not to become a sterile voluntarism or, worse, to
change over time, becoming unfaithful
. The act of the will is enduring of its
very nature, because it is a human act, in which the fundamental qualities of
which the Creator has made us participants are expressed.

undertaking, then, that we have assumed is “for the whole of life” and thus not
related to fads or indulgences much less to sentiments, which might be apparent
to a greater or less degree. While feelings may be said to have a role in
coming to the knowledge of the truth, it is only so as to direct out focus in
such a way as not to obstruct such knowledge but to assist the discernment of
it. Nevertheless, this is but one aspect of consciousness and cannot be its
determining factor.

will has accepted to exercise “the priestly ministry”, not other “professions”!
Above all else we are called to be priests always and, as the Saints remind us,
in every circumstance, exercising with our very being that ministry to which we
have been called. One does not merely act as a priest: one is a priest!

one of us is part of a dynamic entity, called to collaborate by demonstrating,
each in his own way, the Head of this Body: always as “fellow workers with the
“, in obedience to the good which he indicates, and “under the guidance
of the Holy Spirit”, that is in praying with each breath
. Only he who prays can
hear the voice of the Spirit. As the Holy Father recalled in the General
Audience of the 1st July last, “Those who pray are not afraid; those who pray
are never alone; those who pray are saved!”.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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