Friday, June 19, 2009

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart Begins the Year of the Priesthood; Quo Vadis Vocation Meeting; Last Confirmations of the Pastoral Year

In inaugurating the Year of the Priest that runs from this years’s Solemnity of the Sacred Heart (June 19, 2009) until the same feast next year (June 11, 2010), Pope Benedict closely aligns the sentiments of the Heart of Jesus, pierced for our sins out love, to the heart of the priesthood. Some of these connections are bolded below in the opening paragraphs of the Holy Father’s letter to the world’s priests. Further passages will be noted in coming days.

Dear Brother Priests,
On the forthcoming Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Friday 19 June 2009 – a day traditionally devoted to prayer for the sanctification of the clergy –, I have decided to inaugurate a “Year for Priests” in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the “dies natalis” of John Mary Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests worldwide.

This Year, meant to deepen the commitment of all priests to interior renewal for the sake of a more forceful and incisive witness to the Gospel in today’s world, will conclude on the same Solemnity in 2010. "The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus”, the saintly Curé of Ars would often say.

This touching expression makes us reflect, first of all, with heartfelt gratitude on the immense gift which priests represent, not only for the Church, but also for humanity itself. I think of all those priests who quietly present Christ’s words and actions each day to the faithful and to the whole world, striving to be one with the Lord in their thoughts and their will, their sentiments and their style of life. How can I not pay tribute to their apostolic labours, their tireless and hidden service, their universal charity? And how can I not praise the courageous fidelity of so many priests who, even amid difficulties and incomprehension, remain faithful to their vocation as “friends of Christ”, whom he has called by name, chosen and sent?

I still treasure the memory of the first parish priest at whose side I exercised my ministry as a young priest: he left me an example of unreserved devotion to his pastoral duties, even to meeting death in the act of bringing viaticum to a gravely ill person. I also recall the countless confreres whom I have met and continue to meet, not least in my pastoral visits to different countries: men generously dedicated to the daily exercise of their priestly ministry.

Yet the expression of Saint John Mary also makes us think of Christ’s pierced Heart and the crown of thorns which surrounds it. I am also led to think, therefore, of the countless situations of suffering endured by many priests, either because they themselves share in the manifold human experience of pain or because they encounter misunderstanding from the very persons to whom they minister. How can we not also think of all those priests who are offended in their dignity, obstructed in their mission and persecuted, even at times to offering the supreme testimony of their own blood?

"Quo Vadis" Meets at St. Theresa's Church
Quo Vadis is the name of the monthly Third Friday meeting of men interested in discerning a vocation to the priesthood. As I already had a commitment at the Parish of St. Michael's, Corkery and St. Peter Celestine, Pakenham, the English Pastoral Office's Director of Youth, Ted Hurley helped me prepare a short video presentation thanking those open to searching out God's will in their regard and encouraging them as they struggle with saying "yes" to such a call when they discover that God wants them to serve His People in this wonderful ministry.

I am grateful to Father Tim Mccauley, our Director of Vocations for his strong leadership in holding a festive get-together this evening. The usual format is a period of prayer in common (often the Liturgy of the Hours), a testimony by one of the priests of the Archdiocese on his discernment of Christ's call (today Msgr. Kevin Beach, Vicar General) and a simple meal.

Men interested in discerning a call to the priesthood may contact Father Tim, who is pastor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish in Russell by email [] or by requesting to see him on Tuesdays at the Diocesan Centre (613-738-5025).

Completion of Confirmations for 2008-2009 Pastoral Year
Last night I celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation for 16 youth at Paroisse St-Jean Baptiste, the parish directed by the Dominican Fathers; it is adjacent to Dominican University College on Empress Avenue. This evening I will confirm a small group in Pakenham, while tomorrow I will celebrate with youth from the Croatian Parish of St. Leopold Mandic in the western section of Ottawa.


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  2. Dear Archbishop Terry,

    This evening I was reading the site and his message was posted: June 12, 2009
    Second Friday Rosary Service to Pray for Priests

    St. John Vianney is here and says: "Praise be to Jesus."

    "My brothers and sisters, as the year of the Priesthood is about to begin under my patronage, I have come to ask that you multiply your prayers for holy priests. Priests can become holier if they perform a self-examination of conscience nightly. Then they will see the importance of the Sacrament of Penance, and they will promote it to their flock. Pray very hard, for priests are very much under attack on all sides."

    "Tonight I'm extending to you my Priestly Blessing."

    God Bless you,

  3. Dear Archbishop Terry:
    St. John Vianney says: "Praise be to Jesus."

    "My little daughter-child of God-I have been sent to dictate to you this novena for all priests. It is given to me at the command of the Eternal Now to be prayed for the strengthening of the Church from within through the intercession of the United Hearts. It will return many priests who are compromising their vocations to the path of righteousness-the path of Holy Love."

    "Each day the following prayer should be recited: "I beseech You-Blessed United Hearts of the Most Holy Trinity, together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary-help me in all of my weaknesses and imperfections. Remind me always that my vocation is a gift from you. Assist me in being an image of Divine Love to all those I minister to. Give to me the gift of touching even the most hardened souls. Amen."

    Day 1 "Through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the infinite power and grace of the United Hearts, I ask for the grace of desiring to be holy. Strengthen this desire in every present moment so that I can inspire deep personal holiness in those I minister to. Increase my love for you, dear United Hearts. Amen."

    Day 2 "Most Holy United Hearts, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, help me to inspire those entrusted to my care with this desire towards personal holiness. Give me Holy Boldness to fill the hearts of my flock with this desire. Help me to inspire them by my own example. Amen."

    Day 3 "Most Worthy United Hearts, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, never allow me to forget, that as a priest, it is my duty to make the sacraments available to my flock, for it is the sacraments [especially the Eucharist and Confession] that protect and encourage personal holiness, and which strengthen whole parishes. Knowing this, I must encourage frequent confession, as well as Eucharistic Adoration. I must never limit their availability out of selfish use of my own time. Help me, dear United Hearts, to place others' spiritual welfare ahead of my own ease. Amen."

    Day 4 "Most Holy United Hearts, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as a priest, help me to help my flock to grow in virtue, for the virtues are the building blocks of personal holiness. Help me, dear United Hearts, to educate my flock as to the importance of Holy Love in the present moment, for all virtue is based on Holy Love. Amen."

    St. John Vianney says: "Praise be to Jesus. Through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the United Hearts of the Holy Trinity, priests must pray to please God and live in harmony with the Will of God. This is the dictate of Holy Love-Holy Humility. These two virtues are companions; one cannot exist in the soul without the other. The depth of either is dependent upon the depth of the other. Each day priests are tested in these two virtues."

    "Let this be the priests' prayer:"
    Day 5 "Through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, * Most Holy United Hearts, let me not fail in any test of Holy Love or Holy Humility. I must realize that the test is the opportunity God gives me to practice every virtue. I pray to accept the graces I am given to succeed in every test. I pray to be able to teach others to do so. Amen."

  4. Da 6 of the Novena
    * Recite the prayer given to priests by Blessed Mother on Aug. 18, 2007.

    Day 6 "Most Holy United Hearts, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, today I pray that any disordered desire to be popular with people be taken from my heart. I will not place love of money ahead of shepherding my flock. I will trust in God's Divine Provision. I pray for courage and Holy Boldness to speak out against all sin, even the sins that have been carried by Satan into the political arena, such as abortion, same sex marriage, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research. Lord, give to me a righteous tongue. Amen."

    Day 7 "Most Worthy United Hearts, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as a priest, help me always to realize the value of self-effacement and poverty of spirit. Help me never to place myself first--my own needs or my own feelings. My personal holiness depends upon my efforts to place God and others first. Assist me, dear United Hearts, in detaching from the false gods of reputation, material gain and intellectual pride, for these are all doorways that liberalism uses to destroy vocations. I petition you, United Hearts, protect me from these traps. Amen."

    Day 8 "Most Holy United Hearts, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, help me always to speak and to teach through the Spirit of Truth. In this age of compromise, I need your assistance in combating all heresy against the Tradition of Faith. Help me to stand firm in all that the Catechism teaches, and never to alter my views to please others. Amen."

    Day 9 "All Worthy, All Loving United Hearts, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I, your faithful priest, beg your assistance in preparing my flock for the triumphant return of Jesus. I understand that Jesus' Victory will be a Victory of Holy and Divine Love. Assist me in any effort of propagating these messages of Holy and Divine Love, for I see they are scripturally sound and based on truth. I must encourage others to live in Holy Love, for this is the Gateway to the New Jerusalem, and the path of salvation. Safeguard my heart against discouragement. Fill me with Holy Boldness. Amen."

    For handout of Novena to be prayed by Priests:

    For Novena for Lay Faithful to pray for Priests:

  5. I took a picture of the Quo Vadis meeting and emailed it to Monsigneur Kevin Beach; maybe you could get it from him and post it here...