During these difficult times for our good and faithful priests, who are often looked upon with suspicion by society because of the sins and crimes of other priests who have abused children, we need to pray each day for their strength, courage and perseverance. We must also find ways to encourage them, tell them how much we appreciate their sacrifices and generous service and ask Our Lady, the Mother of all Priests, for her maternal protection and care.
During an Ordination Mass celebrated by St. John Paul II on May 11, 2003, the Pope offered the following prayer for the priests he had ordained that day. I ask that you and I also offer this same prayer today for the tens of thousands of faithful priests throughout the world who serve as shepherds of the Lord’s flock during this time of purification and renewal in our Church:
“And, you, Mary, ‘Woman of the Eucharist,’ Mother and model of every priest, be close to these sons of yours today and throughout the years of their pastoral ministry. Like the Apostle John, they too welcome you ‘into their home.’ Help them to conform their lives to the divine Teacher who has chosen them as His ministers. May their ‘present,’ just spoken by each one with youthful enthusiasm, be expressed every day in generous adherence to the task of the ministry and blossom in the joy the ‘magnificat’ for the ‘great things’ that God’s mercy will, to work through their hands. Amen.”
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos! Do not miss Bishop Frank’s latest video: What Does it Mean to Stand with Christ?