My Beloved: The Theological and Liturgical Understanding of The Christian Priesthood


Lionel, (Fr)Joseph


STD,St Mary of the Lake University; Faculty,St Peters Pontifical Seminary,India

The Year of the Priest was celebrated from June 2009 to June 2010. It coincided with the jubilee year in honor of the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of St. John Marie Vianney. Curé d’Ars, as he is fondly known, is the patron for priests. This simple and saintly priest had drawn countless numbers of people to God through his ministry in one of the most challenging periods in history, after the French Revolution. The insignificant village, Ars, in the south-western corner of France would not have been known at all but for the spiritual fervor and tireless priestly commitment of its curé who brought sinners close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to experience God’s love and forgiveness. In 1929 Pope Pius XI declared him as the patron for the parochial clergy, soon after his canonization. When our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI declared this jubilee year of St. John Marie Vianney as the Year for Priests, it opened multitude of new opportunities to learn more about the saint as well as to engage in profound reflection on the theology of priesthood. It is personally a reawakening process for thousands of priests to pursue a refreshing meditation on their own identity and spirituality. It is all the more important pastorally for Catholics around the world to have deep reflection on their own common priesthood by virtue of their Baptism and the ministerial priesthood as instituted by Christ. The declaration of this Jubilee year serves a fertile pastoral ground to instruct and reflect on the theology and ministry of priesthood. It promotes greater appreciation for the pastors of souls who are tirelessly serving the flock entrusted to their care in different parts of the world, sometimes in most hostile and challenging assignments where their lives are at real risk. It promotes greater coordination of the charisms realized among the laity and ecclesiastical offices in the Church, because “priests and laity together compose one priestly people,” as highlighted by Benedict XVI in his letter at the inauguration of this Jubilee year.

It is the author's wish to present this writing with three desired goals: 1) a personal spiritual resource, both for priests and laity, to deepen their self understanding of the identity; 2) an academic ,scholarly tool to introduce to some deep biblical, theological and liturgical foundations of priesthood; and finally 3) a pastoral resource to facilitate and coordinate various gifts in the parish context with Christian leadership founded in Scripture, theology, and the Magisterium. Therefore this writing will not only be useful during this year for priests, but also valuable as a follow-up and on-going reflection on the Christian priesthood which is so central in nurturing our life of faith. Joseph recommends reading this book, together with scripture, especially the references cited in each chapter. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:16). It could serve as a tool for retreat preachers, homily preparation, talks, seminars, spiritual conferences, liturgical study groups, reflection for parish and diocesan liturgical committees, and personal meditation for priests, religious, missionaries, seminarians, parish staff, and any interested Catholic. It could serve as a pastoral resource for religious education programs, catechists, permanent deacons, Charismatic renewal movements and any organizations in the parish or diocese. It would help Christian families to promote authentic vocations in their homes and offer spiritual and ministerial support to thousands of priests and religious joyfully engaged in pastoral ministries around the world in the midst of demanding self-sacrifice and challenging times especially in mission countries.

Catholicism (Theology), Church History, Origins and Development of Catholic clergy,Christian Ministry,Contemporary Catholicism, Renewal of the Priesthood,Catholic Theology,Charismatics,Liturgy
Release Date: 
Cloth: 978-1-936320-18-9
Trim Size: 
6 x 9

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