Our Holy Father Pope Francis has spoken about the joy of the priesthood, of the joy of that call to follow Jesus in a very personal and intimate way. But he also noted that priests are often criticized by various elements of our secular society. He urged the faithful to pray for their priests. In a recent general audience in the Vatican, he stated, “I invite everyone to pray to the Heart of Jesus…and support with closeness and affection your priests so that they always reflect the image of that Heart full of merciful love.”
The following “PRAYER FOR PRIESTS” provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, reflects the sentiments of Our Holy Father:
WE THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF OUR PRIESTS.
THROUGH THEM, WE EXPERIENCE YOUR PRESENCE IN THE SACRAMENTS.
HELP OUR PRIESTS TO BE STRONG IN THEIR VOCATION.
SET THEIR SOULS ON FIRE WITH LOVE FOR YOUR PEOPLE.
GRANT THEM WISDOM, UNDERSTANDING, AND STRENGTH THEY NEED
TO FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS.
INSPIRE THEM WITH THE VISION OF YOUR KINGDOM.
GIVE THEM THE WORDS THEY NEED TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL.
ALLOW THEM TO EXPERIENCE JOY IN THEIR MINISTRY.
HELP THEM BECOME INSTRUMENTS OF YOUR DIVINE GRACE.
WE ASK THIS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, WHO LIVES AND REIGNS AS OUR ETERNAL PRIEST.
As priests, we are challenged to go forth with a renewed appreciation for the gift of our vocation and for the opportunity to minister to the people of God. We are challenged to be humble disciples truly willing to serve the Church and its mission.
On behalf of Fr. Tri and Fr. Bill, and the many other priests who assist us in various ways, I thank you for your continued support. It is a privilege to serve you. Please continue to pray for us and all priests.