Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Point of the Priesthood

is not to glory in the power of celebrating the Sacraments, but in helping the flock come to a deeper realization of their encounter with Christ. Fr. Mike, OP, of the Catherine of Siena Institute has a great reflection on the interplay between priest and laity: (snippet)

Each of us who have been baptized share in Jesus' three-fold office of priest, prophet and king. When I was ordained, my sharing in priesthood was directed towards the Church itself as a minister of the sacraments; my prophetic ministry fulfilled as I proclaim the Gospel and teach. Most priests (myself included before I began working with the Institute) do not know that our royal office focuses on calling forth and celebrating the spiritual gifts (charisms) of the laity and coordinating them so that our mission described above can be fulfilled. Administration of the parish is actually a small – and much less interesting – part of my royal office.

For some ideas on how to accomplish this, read their excellent Parish: Mission or Maintenance booklet:

A ground-breaking presentation by Fr. Michael Sweeney and Sherry Weddell given to priests, seminarians, and lay students in Rome in February, 2000. The Parish: Mission or Maintenance? offers a challenging, comprehensive, and pratical look at the Church's teaching about the apostleship of the laity, the essential part of the priestly office in forming lay apostles, the importance of gifts discernment, and the untapped potential of the local parish in making real apostolic formation and support available to every Catholic. (Also available bound, in a 40 page book, at nominal cost. Order your copy by phone (toll free) 1-(888) 878-6789).

1 comment:

uncle jim said...

thanks for the link to the document - it is insightful - lots to consider for the parish laity and clergy alike