You might ask “with all the scandals about priests, isn’t it difficult to write on The Year for Priests?”
Not at all, on the contrary, while the media is writing about the scandals, I will write about the hundreds of faithful priests in our diocese and the hundreds of thousands in the world.
Who are they? They are the priests who visit the sick, celebrate two and sometimes three Masses on Sunday, baptize babies, hear confessions, balance budgets, attend parish meetings, console grieving families, conduct funerals, resolve disputes, coordinate parish ministries, celebrate marriages, counsel troubled parishioners, answer telephone calls and emails, handle marriage cases, try to find time for personal prayer, get up early for Mass and go to bed exhausted.
They are the priest who personally collects clothing and used household items for struggling parishioners who need them. They are the priest who burns the midnight oil preparing a homily for Sunday Masses. They are the hospital chaplain who walks the corridors strengthening faith and courage, alleviating fears. They are the priest who visits the jails and prisons offering hope.
They are the priests who feel the disdain of those who paint with a broad brush. They are the priests who suffer every time the media reports on another sensationalized scandal. They are the priests who honor their vows. They are the priests who love the Church but recognize that while it was divinely founded it is populated by both saints and sinners. They are the priests who know that in spite of the human weaknesses of its members the Church is still the continuing saving presence of Jesus in the world. They are the priests who make Jesus present in Word and Sacrament.
They are your priests. They are the priests we celebrate in this Year for Priests.
I am proud to be one of them.