Year for Priests Guide
In proclaiming the Year for Priests, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged priests to strive for "spiritual perfection on which, above all, the effectiveness of their ministry depends."
Vatican Year for Priests page
Provides links to audiences and meetings where Pope Benedict XVI has discussed the priesthood, along with links to Vatican documents on the priesthood.
OSV's Year for Priests page
Lets visitors take a survey regarding the priesthood, solve an interactive crossword puzzle and view a multimedia presentation on influential priests, along with providing links to relevant articles and Church documents.
USCCB Year for Priest page
Official jubilee page of the U.S. bishops offers information on events, prayers for priests and papal announcements.
Gracious and loving God, we thank you for the gift of our priests.
Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments.
Help our priests to be strong in their vocation.
Set their souls on fire with love for your people.
Grant them the wisdom, understanding and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Inspire them with the vision of your kingdom.
Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel.
Allow them to experience joy in their ministry.
Help them to become instruments of your divine grace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest. Amen.
Number of diocesan andreligious-order priests in the United States.
are diocesan priests
are religious-order priests
Total number of seminarians enrolled in the United States.
are enrolled in diocesan seminaries
are enrolled in religious-order seminaries
1. Ask your priest to share the story of his vocation in a homily or in a bulletin article.
2. Plan a special reception or coffee hour in your parish to show gratitude to your priest for giving his life to you and to the Lord.
3. Recognize your priest's unique attributes, gifts and talents.
4. Affirm your priest. Tell him when you like something that he did or the way in which he handled a situation.
5. Let your priest know that you are praying for him. During difficult moments he will know that your prayers are helping to sustain him.
6. Trust God to work through your priest to meet the needs of the parish. Let him know that you support him.
-- Lorene Hanley Duquin
Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed the Year for Priests from June 19, 2009, to June 19, 2010, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars. Who is he, and how did this humble parish priest from a small town in France become so intertwined with the Year for Priests?
Born at Dardilly, France, on May 8, 1786, St. John Vianney was a shepherd's son. At the age of 20, he began to study for the priesthood but was drafted into the army to fight in the Napoleonic Wars. Deserting, he returned home in 1810 and went to Lyons seminary in 1813.
John was ordained because of his goodness, despite the fact that he had great difficulties with his studies, especially Latin. Abbé Bailey, of Ecully, intervened on his behalf, and he was assigned to Ecully.
In 1818, he became the curé, as pastor of Ars. His mission there was conducted in the confessional, and toward the end of his life he spent 16 to 18 hours a day administering the Sacrament of Penance, or reconciliation, to the thousands who flocked to Ars.
He helped to found La Providence, a home for orphaned and abandoned children. St. John Vianney was gifted with discernment of spirits and read souls with ease, reclaiming thousands of lapsed Catholics. He also built a shrine to St. Philomena, a site that became a popular pilgrim destination.
For 30 years, he suffered diabolical attacks, and his fellow priests charged that he was too ignorant to be a curé. Refusing all honors offered to him, John died at Ars. He was canonized in 1925 and made patron of parish priests. This year, Pope Benedict proclaimed him patron of priests worldwide.
In a June 16 letter to the world's priests, the pontiff explained his motivation for the year, and why the Curé of Ars can serve as a "point of reference" for them as they strive toward spiritual perfection.
After listing St. John Vianney's humility and complete devotion to his parish's conversion, the pontiff pointed out that the saint "taught his parishioners primarily by the witness of his life. It was from his example that they learned to pray, halting frequently before the tabernacle for a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament."
Source: Biographical information adapted from "Encyclopedia of Saints" (OSV, $39.95)
"A good shepherd, a pastor after God's heart, is the greatest treasure which the good Lord can grant to a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of divine mercy."
"Every consecrated Host is made to burn itself up with love in a human heart."
Good and gracious God, hear our prayer for an increase in priestly vocations. Touch the hearts of young men in our world today. Instill in them a burning desire to serve you. Give them the courage to answer your call with generous hearts.
Reveal to them a vision of your kingdom. Help them to see thejoy of priestly ministry. Lead them in the footsteps of your Son, Jesus Christ.
We ask you to bless our seminarians and guide them on the path toward priesthood. Strengthen them as they are educated and formed in the duties and responsibilities of the priesthood. Help them to become faithful servants and leaders in the Church today.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.
1. Plan an evening of prayer and information about vocations. Help people understand that a vocation is a call to the single life, the married life, priesthood or religious life.
2. Encourage everyone to pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood.
3. Teach parishioners how to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Help them to recognize and appreciate their own vocation and the vocation of your priest.
4. Ask your sons and grandsons if they ever thought about becoming a priest.
5. If you know someone who has the qualities of a good priest, point it out to him.
6. Pray for young men discerning priesthood.
7. Find ways to support and encourage seminarians. in your diocese.
Please note: Comments left online may be considered for publication in the Letters to the Editor section of OSV Newsweekly.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Catholic Faith Resources | For Catholic Parishes | Order OSV Products | RSS | Advertise | About Us | Contact Us | Jobs