October 25, 2017

Priesthood Sunday 2017

October 29, 2017

Priesthood Sunday, the last Sunday of October, is a day set aside to honor the priesthood in the United States. Saint John Vianney observed, "The Priesthood is the Love of the Heart of Jesus." In considering this most profound insight from the Curé d'Ars, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI explained that, "This touching expression makes us reflect, first of all, with heartfelt gratitude on the immense gift which priests represent, not only for the Church, but also for humanity itself."

Unfortunately, the number of priests in many dioceses is dwindling. But what if they disappeared all together? The consequences would be immense. No more priests, no more Eucharist, no more grace, no more Church, no more mercy, no more salvation. As Saint Padre Pio once said, "It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!" This is indeed true.
Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living, in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern 'metropolis'. It is you who must 'go out into the byroads' (Mt 22:9) and invite everyone you meet to the banquet which God has prepared for his people. The Gospel must not be kept hidden because of fear or indifference. It was never meant to be hidden away in private. It has to be put on a stand so that people may see its light and give praise to our heavenly Father (Mt 5:15-16).
— St. John Paul II

As of 2015, there where 38,275 Catholic priests in the United States and some 414,313 worldwide. The number of parishes without a resident priest was 3,496. In addition to thanking your parish priest this year, remember to pray for more vocations to the priesthood. Saint John Vianney, patron of priests, pray for us.

Prayer for a Holy Church and Priests

O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church: Grant it love and the light of Your Spirit and give power to the words of priests so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to You, O Lord. Give us holy priests; You Yourself maintain them in holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Your mercy protect them from the devil's snares. May the power of Your mercy, O Lord, vanquish all that might tarnish the sanctity of your Church. Amen.

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