Meeting with members of the Congregation for Clergy, the Holy Father announced
that the Church will celebrate a special year for priests beginning on June 19, 2009.
The year will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney, Cure of Ars.
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|VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope
Benedict XVI declared a year of the priest in an effort to encourage
"spiritual perfection" in priests.
The pope will open the special year with a vespers service at the Vatican June 19 -- the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the day for the sanctification of priests. He will close the celebrations during a World Meeting of Priests in St. Peter's Square June 19, 2010.
The pope made the announcement during an audience March 16 with members of the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.
He met with some 70 participants of the congregation's March 16-18 plenary assembly, which focused on the missionary identity of the priest and his mission to sanctify, teach and govern.
During this jubilee year, the pope will also proclaim St. John Vianney to be patron saint of all the world's priests. At present he is considered the patron saint of parish priests.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the death of this 19th-century saint who represents a "true example of a priest at the service of the flock of Christ," the pope said.
St. John Vianney is widely known to Catholics as the Cure (parish priest) of Ars who won over the hearts of his villagers in France by visiting with them, teaching them about God and reconciling people to the Lord in the confessional.
In his address, Pope Benedict said the priestly ministry consists of total adherence to the ecclesial tradition of participating "in a spiritually intense new life and a new lifestyle which was inaugurated by the Lord Jesus and which the apostles made their own."
Priestly ordination creates new men who are bestowed with the gift and office of sanctifying, teaching and governing, he said.
The pope underlined the necessary and "indispensable struggle for moral perfection which must dwell in every authentically priestly heart."
The pope said he was calling for the special year for priests in an effort to foster the priest's yearning "for spiritual perfection, upon which the effectiveness of their ministry principally depends."
"The awareness of the radical social changes over the past decades must stir the best ecclesial energies to look after the formation of priestly candidates," the pope said.
This means great care must be taken to ensure permanent and consistent doctrinal and spiritual formation for seminarians and priests, he said, specifying the importance of passing down, especially to younger generations, "a correct reading of the texts of the Second Vatican Council, interpreted in the light of all the church's doctrinal heritage."
Priests must also be "present, identifiable and recognizable -- for their judgment of faith, their personal virtues and their attire -- in the fields of culture and charity which have always been at the heart of the church's mission," he said.
"The centrality of Christ leads to a correct valuation of ordained ministry," he said, adding that, without priestly ministry, there would be no Eucharist, no mission and even no church.
Therefore, he said, it is crucial to make sure that new bodies or pastoral organizations are not set up "for a time in which one might have to 'dispense with' ordained ministry based on an erroneous interpretation of the rightful promotion of the laity."
"This would lay the foundations for further diluting the priestly ministry, and any supposed 'solutions' would dramatically coincide with the real causes of the problems currently connected with the ministry," he said.
this "Year of the Priest" you may want to
have information about these Priests:
Saint Padre Pio
Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint John Bosco
Saint John of the Cross
Saint Maxmilian Kolbe
All of these are contained in our book "Saints and Other Powerful Men in the Church."
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Saints And Other
Down through the ages, men and
women have given their lives to carry out the command of Jesus. Bob
and Penny Lord have tracked the lives of 12 men who have said, Yes!
to Jesus, and dedicated their lives to that Yes!, some at the cost of
their lives. Their biographies parallel the times of crisis in our
Church. Bob and Penny have set their sights on the man and the time in
which he lived. They have started at the beginning of our infant
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Electronic Age, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
St. PaulJesus spoke to him; he converted, and archenemy of the Christians became Apostle to Gentile World
St. Augustine Doctor of the Church - Sinner turned Saint - Read how his mother prayed him to holiness.
St. Francis of Assisi Most like Jesus -lived the Gospel life - Brother Sun - Stigmatist - Founder of Franciscans
St. Anthony Finder of Lost Souls - Great homilist, Mystic, Hammer of Heretics, Miracle of the Eucharist
St. Peregrine The Cancer Saint, Incorrupt body
St. John of the Cross Reformer of Carmelites - Doctor of the Church - Mystic - Poet - Soldier of Christ
St. John Vianney Patron Saint of Parish Priests, had visions of Mother Mary - did battle with the devil.
St. John Bosco Mystic - Visionary - Prophesied these last days - Pied-piper of lost children of the streets.
St. Maxmilian Kolbe - founded Knights of the Immaculata, died as a Martyr in Auschwitz.
Saint Miguel Pro Martyr of Mexico of the 20th century
Blessed Padre Pio Visionary, Stigmatist for 50 yrs, bi-located, perfect confessor, transverberation of the heart.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen - First Televangelist - A Prophet of these latter days-maligned and misunderstood.
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Men Super Saints DVDS
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Saints and Other Powerful Men in the Church - Click here to view book
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V129 - Saint John Vianney
The Cure of Ars
the life of the this Super Saint
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