- Tuesday, 07 December 2010 19:31
Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, Prefect of the Congregation of Clergy, is focusing on the life of the priest and how the Catholic priest lives the vocation given to him by the Holy Spirit. Piacenza is doing all he can to strengthen priesthood in all its vigor and beauty. In the style and content of Benedict XVI, Piacenza is calling for a Catholic reform of the priesthood, a reform that returns to the source. He said,
I think it’s a big task that I do no hesitate to define reform. But reform in the Catholic sense of the word, which is to get as close as possible to the source, close to the Heart of Jesus, which is the mystery of the priesthood. Therefore, they must take care of the relationship with God.
- Friday, 22 October 2010 12:23
Jesus says to his disciples, ask the Lord to send workers into his harvest (MT 9:38).
Earlier today I attended the Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, Bishop of Norwich and Chancellor of Holy Apostles Seminary
(Cromwell, CT), where he also instituted 27 seminarians in the ministries of Lector and Acolyte. These men of various ages, life experience and affiliation, are preparing for service as priests.
This was the first time these rites were performed in the new seminary chapel.
These rites are minor, but essential in the life Church as she prepares men for service as priests. All of these men have been reading the sacred Scripture at Mass and serving and bringing Holy Communion to the people. But now, they are more official in their service for without these rites they can’t be advanced to the Order of Deacon.
The Church commissions those instituted as lector with these words:
Take this book of Holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the Word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of His people.
And, for those instituted as acolytes:
Take these vessels with bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist. Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of His Church.
Bishop Cote reminded all the seminarians that as ministers of God and of the Church they are to read the signs of the times, to think with the Church, to share the Good News of the Lord and to signs of mercy for the faithful. He emphasized that priests and deacons and other ministers are to be gentle shepherds of the Gospel: nothing harsh, nothing repelling when it comes to teaching the faith and exercising the pastoral office.
My friend and neighbor, Ken Dagliere, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Hartford was one of the men given ministry of acolyte. His new ministry allows him to officially serve at the altar, expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament and cleanse the liturgical vessels if a deacon or priest is not available.
Driving to and from the seminary there was a tangible experience holiness and the feeling of rightness of the event just lived: not only did I sense the presence of the Holy Spirit but also the graces of friendship and the beauty of the horizon revealed the face of God. New England color is particularly revealing of God’s interest in our lives. You know when something is “just right,” “just what it’s supposed to be.” Saint Catherine of Siena tells us that we know that grace is at work in our lives when we are who we are meant to be; in another vein: we are to strive to be what God has made us to be. It is an awareness of the Divine Plan in our lives. And so today, 27 seminarians, visiting priests and laity with the bishop asked the Holy Spirit once again make hallow the lives those called to priesthood. But lest we forget that all people have vocations: some it’s priesthood, for others it’s teaching, and others the lay life in its multiplicity of works; all are called to seek the face of Christ and to live the Gospel and the sacraments.
May Mary, Queen of the Apostles and seminarians, pray for Ken and the other seminarians as they continue their formation for priesthood.
- Monday, 27 September 2010 16:22
I recommend to your prayers the peaceful repose of the soul of Father Thomas Dubay, SM, who died yesterday morning in Washington, DC. Father Dubay has been ill for some time.
- Tuesday, 27 July 2010 14:56
Preaching the first Mass of a newly ordained member of his monastic community, Benedictine Father Ambrose Bennett cited “Emmanuel Cardinal Suhard, who served as Archbishop of Paris
in the post-war years, expressed this mystery [of the priesthood] very eloquently in a beautiful
pastoral letter that he wrote to his priest on Holy Thursday of 1949:
At the altar, the priest, like
Christ, is the [sacrificial] victim. But he is also the sacrificer; he is then
the dreadful man, the one who works death, the one who slays sin and burns it,
the one who is crucified and who crucifies, the one who cannot save the world,
nor will consent to its salvation, save through nailing it to the Cross.
“Without the shedding of blood there is no redemption” (Heb. 9.22)… That is why
the priest in relation to society must always be somehow or other its
adversary. He will never be forgiven for recalling and perpetuating, from
generation to generation, Christ, whom they thought they had suppressed
forever… Far from being a fatherly adviser or a good-natured citizen, a priest
is, like God, a terrible being. He is a fighting man… Like Saint Michael, he
challenges the Dragon, dragging him out of ambush by healing men’s hearts, so
as to crush one by one his ever resurgent heads. Although it is too frequently
overlooked, a priest is an exorcist…; he has the power and the duty of
expelling the Devil (Cardinal Suhard, Priests Among Men, pp. 82-83; 44-45).
- Wednesday, 21 July 2010 15:35
Please keep in your prayers the repose of the soul of the Reverend Father Brian W. Monnerat, 60, priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford, who died, July 14, 2010, while on vacation with his family. He was ordained a priest in 1988, when I first met him. This is a sad time for the archdiocese.
Father Brian was the pastor of Saint Matthew Church, Forrestville, CT.
A special prayer for priests, and for those who struggle with their weight and have cardiac problems.
Come Holy Spirit. Come through Mary.