Encouragement and support for priests

Fr John Boyle has a post on Bishop Sample sharing his Vision and Program for the New Evangelisation in which the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy has pride of place. Regarding evangelisation itself, he said that the programme is, well, the gospels. He also set out some pastoral priorities:
  1. The call to holiness
  2. Prayer in the Church
  3. Sunday Mass
  4. Penance/Confession
  5. The primacy of grace (not just our own efforts)
  6. Listening to the Word
  7. Proclaiming the Word
I was especially struck by this point in Fr Boyle's report of the recent convocation of priests of the Diocese of Marquette:
The bishop confided to the priests that he prays and offers sacrifice for each priest in the diocese. His Friday Mass, fast, prayer, abstinence are all offered for the priests of the diocese. He asks Our Lady to pour out the Precious Blood and Water that flowed from her Son's side upon all the priests and that she would hold us close to her Immaculate Heart.
It is very good of His Excellency not only to do that but also to communicate to priests that he does. During the convocation, he invited priests to make the following Act of Consecration:

Mary, Mother of Jesus and Queen of Peace
since Jesus from the Cross
gave you to me,
I take you as my own.

And since Jesus gave me to you,
take me as your own.
Make me docile like Jesus on the Cross,
obedient to the Father,
trusting in humility and love.

Mary, my Mother,
in imitation of the Father,
who gave His Son to you,
I too give myself to you;
to you I entrust all that I am,
all that I have
and all that I do.

Help me to surrender ever more fully to the Spirit.
Lead me deeper into the Mystery of the Cross and Resurrection
and the fullness of the Church.

As you formed the heart of Jesus by the Spirit,
form my heart to be the throne of Jesus
in His glorious coming.
At our Deanery Clergy Conference today, I spoke a little about the recently published document from the Congregation for Clergy: The Priest, Minister of Divine Mercy which gives guidance for priests on the ministry of the Sacrament of Penance and on giving spiritual direction. I printed off the examination of conscience (p.65-68) and the prayers before and after hearing confessions (p.69-70) I'll order some copies for the next Deanery meeting.

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