The Priest Media Center for May 2017

‘For Greater Things You Were Born’

On Ash Wednesday, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles released his latest pastoral letter, addressed “to the family of God in Los Angeles on God’s beautiful plan of love for our lives and our world.” The letter — more than 16,000 words — is applicable to all the faithful, whether they are laypeople in Los Angeles or priests in Pittsburgh.

Archbishop Gomez, vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has written a stunningly inspiring work that testifies that the cure for all of society’s ills — individualism; divisions between class, race, religion and gender; a growing lack of respect for all human life; and many others — can be found in Jesus Christ, who is “the one teacher of life.” Archbishop Gomez writes, “He alone shows us the way to live in order to lead a truly human life.”

The pastoral letter serves as an instruction manual for living a life that strives toward holiness, as the archbishop expounds on Christ’s ideals for marriage and family, caring for our common home, and loving our brothers and sisters.

It is a letter that should be read and absorbed by all the faithful, and perhaps priests especially so they can pass the beautiful teaching on to their flocks. The full letter can be read at

Cardinal Seán’s Blog


Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley of Boston posts weekly at his website (, sharing his thoughts on everything from the liturgy to current events. But what he does best on his blog is offer a wonderful transparency of his episcopate, as he posts reflections and photos from many of his various meetings and appointments. It serves as a solid reminder of the importance of keeping those in your spiritual care — be it at the parish or diocesan level — informed and connected.

“With the Smell of the Sheep” (Orbis Books, $18)


In his foreword to “With the Smell of the Sheep: The Pope Speaks to Priests, Bishops, and Other Shepherds,” a compilation of letters, speeches and homilies from Pope Francis to the clergy, Bishop Robert E. Barron writes, “It is clear that Francis has a special love for, and familiarity with, his audience of seminarians, priests and bishops.” Bishop Barron notes four themes, or motifs, in the compiled texts: closeness, spiritual detachment, joy and prayer. This book serves as loving inspiration from Pope Francis, but also as a stern reminder of the responsibility priests have to their flocks.


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