Benedict XVI declared the Church would observe a year for priests from June 19, 2009 to June 19, 2010.
The purpose of the jubilee year, the pontiff said in a March 16 speech, is simple, yet challenging: “To encourage priests in this striving for spiritual perfection on which, above all, the effectiveness of their ministry depends.”
“Striving for spiritual perfection.” Especially today, when the Church is facing a priestly shortage and priests must take on additional duties beyond ministering to their flocks, all Catholics must hold up their priests and those who are discerning the call to the priesthood in prayer and support the vital work they do. After all, as Pope Benedict pointed out, without the ministerial priesthood, “there would be neither the Eucharist, nor even the mission nor the Church herself.”
And while praying for our priests, including bishops and the pope himself, the lay faithful should remember that they are all called to participate with ordained leaders in joining themselves in the sacrifice of Christ, and that they, too, should embark on the quest for spiritual perfection.
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