Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Holy Father explains mission and meaning of priestly ministry

Pope Benedict XVI

Vatican City, Jul 1, 2009 / 11:17 am (CNA).- At the general audience in St. Peter’s Square this morning, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the Year for Priests, laying out the essentials of the priestly mission and identity. He also prayed that this Year will be “an opportunity for the inner renewal of all priests and, consequently, for the revitalization of their commitment to the mission."

The Pope announced that much of his teaching in coming months will center of St. John Mary Vianney, during this Year marking the 150th anniversary of his death.

Of the many virtues exhibited by the Cure of Ars, the Holy Father said he finds that one of the most remarkable was “his complete identification with his ministry. He used to say that a good pastor, a pastor after God's heart, is the greatest treasure the good Lord can give a parish.”

The Priestly Mission

“In fact, it is by considering the dual term 'identity-mission' that each priest will become better aware of the need for that progressive self identification with Christ which guarantees the faithfulness and fruitfulness of his evangelical witness,” Benedict continued. “Thus, in the life of a priest, missionary announcement and worship are inseparable, just as sacramental identity and evangelizing mission are likewise inseparable.”

The goal of priests' mission, the Pope taught, could be described as, “'of worship': that all men and women may offer themselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, receiving the charity which they are then called to dispense abundantly to one another.”

See also:

VIS press release, "Audience: The Essential Elements of Priestly Ministry"

From Asia News, "The Gospel and the Sacraments are a priest’s true mission"


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