This important book on priestly identity embraces the many contemporary varieties of priestly ministry: male and female, paid and unpaid, parish and work–based, catholic, evangelical, charismatic. Examining the “root,” the “shape,” and the “fruit” of priestly identity, On Being a Priest Today is essential reading for priests, priests in training, and everyone considering the ministry. Part One “roots” a priest's human and church life in the theological convictions derived from the Christian understanding of God as being for and with others. Part Two explores the “shape” of priestly life in relation to worship, word, and prayer, each supported by the three key virtues of love, faith, and hope. Part Three examines the “fruit” of priestly life by focusing on three fundamental features of priestly identity: holiness, reconciliation, and blessing. With its applicability to various denominations, this exciting book offers welcome new perspectives on what it means to be a priest today.
This inspiring collection of homilies delivered by Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) over six decades offers deep theological and historical insights on the meaning of the life and the witness of a Catholic priest. When Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated the Year for Priests in 2009, he did so in conjunction with celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of John Vianney, the patron saint of all parish priests. Benedict's purpose for that special year is the same purpose of this book of homilies—to deepen the commitment of all priests to interior renewal for the sake of a stronger and more incisive witness to the Gospel in today's world. As St. John Vianney would often say, "The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus." This touching expression makes us reflect on the immense gift that priests represent, not only for the Church but for all mankind. Contemporary men and women need priests to be distinguished by their determined witness to Christ. These homilies are meant to illuminate and to inspire priests to renew their commitment to "teaching and learning the love of God". The homilies cover a wide variety of important topics on the priesthood, all deeply rooted in Scripture, including acting in persona Christi, becoming an offering with Christ for the salvation of mankind, being there for God's mercy, and witnessing Christian joy.
By engaging in conversation with those whose experience, perspectives, and theological traditions vary from their own, the contributors to The Theology of Priesthood explore in detail the fundamental questions being asked about the ordained priesthood today. Priests, deacons, and students of theology will find these articles an engaging means to understanding Church, ministry, and priesthood more deeply. The Theology of Priesthood includes ten essays that explore facets of ordained ministry and the ministerial priesthood. Paul Philibert, OP, begins with an overview of issues involved in the contemporary discussion on priesthood within the Roman Catholic tradition. Frank Quinn, OP, addresses the significance of language as it pertains to priesthood and ministry and how language is manifested in rites of ordination. Thomas O'Meara, OP, situates the discussion on priesthood within the context of an expansion of ministry in the Church since Vatican II and the implications of this expansion for ministry in the future. Stephen DeLeers articulates a theology of priesthood grounded in Vatican II and post-Vatican II documents which focuses on the primacy of preaching. Thomas Rausch, SJ, then takes up the issue of diversity within ministerial priesthood as he reflects on priesthood within the context of apostolic religious life. Jack Risley, OP, returns to the question of the relationship between ordained ministry and lay ministry. The final three articles reflect on ordained ministry from distinctive perspectives. Benedict Ashley, OP, takes the Letter to the Hebrews as his starting point. Paul Wesche looks at priesthood through the lens of an Eastern Orthodox priest. Donald Goergen, OP, asks what insights African theology, specifically African Christology, might offer a contemporary Catholic theology of priesthood. Paul Philibert, OP, provides a concluding reflection. Donald J. Goergen, OP, is a preacher, teacher, lecturer, author, and theologian who taught systematic theology for many years. He was also previously the provincial for the Dominican friars of the Central Province. He is the editor of A Theology of Jesus series, and Being a Priest Today published by Liturgical Press.
Exploring a Distinctive Ministry in the Church and in the World
Author: Rosalind Brown
Publisher: Church Publishing, Inc.
In very practical and helpful terms, Rosalind Brown explores what it means to be a deacon in today's church. All too often the time spent as a deacon is seen simply as the prelude to priestly ordination. Yet the Bible defines three orders of ministry - deacon, priest, and bishop - each with its own distinctive characteristics and responsibilities. In Being A Deacon Today, Brown explores the three places where deacons minister (the church, the world, and at the margins), the three strands of their ministry (in liturgy, in pastoral care, and as catechists), and the three actions of their ministry (praying, loving, and remembering). This book, excellent for classroom use and for transitional and permanent deacons, will restore a fuller understanding of the diaconal ministry and nurture deacons in their work and spiritual life.
Beyond the dramatic drop in seminarians and the declining numbers of priests, beyond the sexual misconduct scandals shaking the confidence and trust once readily given to priests, a spiritual deepening and maturing is renewing the spirit and confidence of the diocesan priest. In this collection of essays, twelve priests (including four bishops) reflect on the spirituality of the diocesan priest from their personal and pastoral experience. Have diocesan priests finally transcended the monastic and religious order spiritualties that have shaped their prayer and interior lives for centuries? Is a spirituality particular to the diocesan priest emerging precisely at a time when the priesthood is under such close scrutiny? The contributors - pastors, theologians, poets, and bishops - grapple with the maturing of the diocesan priest's soul, touch the mystery of the priesthood, and unveil personal, often moving, dramas of grace. Contributors and their articles include Tenders of the Word" by Donald B. Cozzens, "Personal Symbol of Communion" by Denis Edwards, "Confessions of a Pilgrim Pastor" by William Hammer, "A Kindled Heart" by Frank McNulty, "A Glorious and Transcendent Place" by Robert F. Morneau, "The Conciliar Documents and the 1983 Code" by Edward G. Pfnausch, "Ruminations of a Canonist" by James H. Provost, "Heralds of the Gospel and Experts in Humanity" by Sylvester D. Ryan, "Servant of the Servants of God" by Robert Schwartz, "Speaking Out for the Inside" by William H. Shannon, "Pal of Tarsus: A Model for Diocesan Priesthood" by Richard J. Sklba, and "Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest: Using the Wrong Measure?" by Kenneth Untener. Donald Cozzens, PhD, a priest and writer, is author of two award-winning titles, Sacred Silence and The Changing Face of the Priesthood, and editor of The Spirituality of the DiocesanPriest, al published by Liturgical Press. He is writer in residence at John Carroll University where he teaches in the religious studies department. "
The recent Year for Priests focused considerable attention on the priesthood, resulting in many books, articles, retreats, conferences, and symposia. In Gold Tested in Fire, Ronald D. Witherup, SS, makes an important new contribution. Intersecting scriptural and theological context with lived pastoral insight, Witherup explores both classic and contemporary understandings of the priesthood, offers insights into the four pillars" suggested for priestly formation, and looks at the charism of priests, and the need for ongoing formation across a life-span. Having engaged in priestly formation in seminaries for a number of years, Witherup moves beyond overly idealized or pietistic approaches to the presbyteral life to offer key insights on the challenges and rewards inherent in contemporary priestly ministry. Underlying his approach is the firm conviction that the present testing in the priesthood is a profound summons to a new Pentecost, inopportunity for the priesthood to be cleansed and remade, and ultimately stronger.
Having managed during his eventful time as a vicar to become a footnote in ecclesiastical history (!), John Pritchard's current role as a 'jobbing bishop' ensures he is in contact with many parish priests every week. In this lively and hopeful volume, he realistically maps out the life and work of those called to serve God in the pastoral ministry, looking in turn at the only three things he believes need be of concern: the glory of God, the pain of the world, and the renewal of the Church. From those flow the priest's many roles, such as spiritual explorer, multi-lingual interpreter, wounded companion, friendly irritant, creative leader and mature risk-taker.