The Charism of Priestly Celibacy

Teaching a course on Holy Orders in the seminary, which includes a unit on celibacy, has led me to reflect often on my own experience in the seminary from 1964 to 1972. During those years, everything was being questioned. Near the top of … [Read more...]

The Heart of a Priest

St. John Vianney

Father Patrice Chocholski is the successor of St. John Vianney as the pastor of the Parish of St. Sixtus in Ars, France. In July of 2018, Fr. Patrice brought the relic of the heart of St. John Vianney to the United States on a pilgrimage … [Read more...]

Life in Peloton

A Reflection on Cycling and Priestly Fraternity

It is patently unthinkable that someone would attempt to win the Tour de France alone. This is the reason why cycling has always been a team sport. At the professional level, even teams are never solo; they come together to form a peloton, … [Read more...]

Real Celibacy Is an Invitation from Divine Beauty

The personal call of Christ to follow him in a life of chaste celibacy brings a seminarian into a suffering that involves his whole person. Seminary formation serves such a man by assisting him to integrate chastity within his body. Such … [Read more...]

The Noonday Devil

The ninety-first psalm speaks of “the scourge that wreaks havoc at high noon.” It also expresses confidence in God’s protection from that scourge, as well as other evils. Based on that psalm some spiritual writers speak of the “Noonday Devil … [Read more...]

The Words Men Need to Hear

A Priest Speaks to College Seminarians

Speak only the words men need to hear, the things that really help them . . . (Ephesians 4:29) Introduction The effects of language—for good or ill—first occurred to me when I was five, during the summer before kindergarten. As my broth … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: I truly appreciate our parish priest. Everyone loves and admires him. People find it sometimes difficult to express their appreciation. How does one go about showing their appreciation for their priest? Answer: One hears so … [Read more...]

Conformed to a Vulnerable Savior

A Christmas Reflection for Priests

Msgr. Stephen Rossetti’s 2011 study, Why Priests Are Happy,[1. Stephen J. Rossetti, Why Priests are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2011).] gave the lie to any number of p … [Read more...]

Recovering Our Bearings

The Role of the Common Life in the Rebuilding of Priestly Fraternity

Many priests consume themselves in work, but become alone and lose their bearings. It is thus all the more important that the unity of the presbyterate is lived and experienced. Support everything which strengthens priests to encounter and … [Read more...]

On Vulnerability and Self-Disclosure in Priestly Formation

Thoughts for Seminarians & Formators

By some accounts, millennials—the cultural cohort of young adults born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s—are the “vulnerability generation”, using their struggles, flaws, and personality quirks to their advantage, to connect with others … [Read more...]

Meditations Upon the Virgin’s Virtues for Contemporary Clergy, Part 2

This continues the meditation begun in Part 1, here. Generosity: Mark 3: 31-35 Before Dr. Phil, there was a story about a couple who sought marriage counseling. The wife went in to see the counselor first, and alone. And after she left, … [Read more...]

Meditations Upon The Virgin’s Virtues for Contemporary Clergy, Part 1

Introduction What is the difference between a furrow and a rut? A furrow is an intentional emptiness cut into the earth in preparation for fullness. A farmer’s plow intentionally cuts a furrow, opening the earth to produce a full harvest. A … [Read more...]

Perceptions of Ministry, and Facilitators and Barriers of Self-Care, Amongst Roman Catholics and Anglicans in Full-Time Ministry

The work of clergy and others serving in full-time Christian ministry is unique. They are often intimately involved in important life transitions and events, such as births, baptisms, weddings, serious illnesses, deaths, and the grieving … [Read more...]

Discerning a Call to Priesthood? Some questions you should be asking yourself.

As Catholic seminaries across the country commence a new academic year and re-engage in the crucial work of priestly formation, so too a throng of young Catholic men—some finishing high school, some in college, some into the first years of a … [Read more...]

Mary, Mother of Mercy, Mother of the Priest

Marian titles are so numerous, and devotions so diverse, the litany could confuse and confound those less familiar with Catholic popular piety. The various titles show the relationship of a mother with her children. She can be all things to … [Read more...]