Pontiff Recommends Mentors for Young Priests

Urges Clergy to Keep Pursuing Lost Sheep

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 3, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is recommending that newly ordained priests be assigned mentors from among older clergy to help in living the vocation in a balanced way.

The Pope stated this today upon receiving in audience bishops from the Philippines who are in Rome for their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

The Pontiff acknowledged that many of the Filipino dioceses “already have in place programs of continuing formation for young priests, assisting them in their transition from the structured schedule of the seminary to the more independent setting of parish life.”

“Along these lines,” he continued, “it is also helpful for them to be assigned mentors from among those older priests who have proven themselves to be faithful servants of the Lord.”

“These men can guide their younger confrères along the path toward a mature and well-balanced way of priestly living,” the Holy Father affirmed.

“Moreover, priests of all ages require ongoing care,” he added. “Regular days of recollection, yearly retreats and convocations, as well as programs for continuing education and assistance for priests who may be facing difficulties, are to be promoted.”

“I am confident that you will also find ways to support those priests whose assignments leave them isolated,” Benedict XVI stated.

He noted, “You and your fellow bishops have a particular duty to know your priests well and to guide them with sincere concern, while priests are always to be prepared to fulfill humbly and faithfully the tasks entrusted to them.”

Holy Thursday

The Pope encouraged the prelates “to profit from the yearly celebration of Holy Thursday, during which the Church commemorates the priesthood in a special way.”

“In accordance with their solemn promises at ordination, remind your priests of their commitment to celibacy, obedience, and an ever greater dedication to pastoral service,” he said.

“In living out their promises, these men will become true spiritual fathers with a personal and psychological maturity that will grow to mirror the paternity of God,” the Pontiff affirmed.

He continued: “As Saint Paul says, ‘Let us not grow weary of doing good; if we do not relax our efforts, in due time we shall reap our harvest” (Gal 6:9).

“With these words, the Apostle encourages his readers to do good to all, but especially to those of the household of the faith.”

The Holy Father reminded his listeners that “the greatest good that we can offer those whom we serve is given to us in the Eucharist.”

“In the Holy Mass,” he stated, “the faithful receive the grace needed to be transformed in Jesus Christ.”

Benedict XVI noted, “It is heartening that many Filipinos attend Sunday Mass, but this does not leave room for complacency on your part as shepherds.”

He continued, “It is your task, and that of your priests, never to grow weary in pursuing the lost sheep, making sure that all the faithful draw life from the great gift given to us in the sacred mysteries.”

— — —

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-31915?l=english

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation