This group of priests made such an impression on me. Yes, they are a group of men, average about 65, who said YES to this vocation of priesthood many years ago. But what impressed me was their resiliency. You see this area of the US is ground zero for the grand jury report that came out in 2018. These priests have been through so much hurt, especially Bishop Malesik who had only been a bishop for about a year when the report came out.
Part of what I tell the priests of a diocese is to share their joy of the priesthood with their parishioners. Make it easier for a young man to say YES by putting an authentic joyful example in front of him. It was tough for some of these priests, who had been battered over the last few years, to tap into that joy from long ago. My hope is that this workshop sparked some reflection on what still brings them joy in their priesthood.
Please pray for your priest’s holiness.
St. Therese of Lisieux’s Prayer for Priests
O Jesus, eternal Priest,
keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
where none may touch them.
Keep unstained their anointed hands,
which daily touch Your Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips,
daily purpled with your Precious Blood.
Keep pure and unearthly their hearts,
sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.
Let Your holy love surround them and
shield them from the world’s contagion.
Bless their labors with abundant fruit and
may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here and in heaven their beautiful and