"...Renew Within Them the Spirit of Holiness"
Today's Vatican word of the day is "vocation." This is the 43rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, and Benedict XVI celebrated by ordaining 15 new priests -- 13 for the diocese of Rome and two Discalced Carmelites. The World Day's theme of "Vocation in the Mystery of the Church" then carried over into the Pope's Regina Caeli talk.
And I'm about to fulfill my vocation by translating both, in full.
As today's Roman calendar highlights, here comes Ordination Season here in the States; some dioceses have already ordained their new priests and deacons, but most will take place over the next two months.
I could go on and on with my own theological treatise on the priesthood, but who needs that?
(I see you nodding in agreement.)
Barring that, as a communal gift to our ordinands, I've got a question for the two sectors of our readership. If you're keen to reply (and here's hoping you are), drop me an e.mail and I'll compile the goods into a megapost.
To the priests among our readership -- and I hear there are three or four of you -- my question is: "What do you know now that you wish you knew on your Ordination Day?" Of course, the answers to this could fill volumes. But a handful of the most important and valuable things would be a great help.
And to our faithful, "What advice do you have for your new priests?" Seminaries and the (healthy) cohesion of a presbyterate are all well and good -- but these guys are being ordained to serve you. From experience, many of you have a better grasp of what works (or doesn't) in ministry than do those who are sent your way, so your insights might just be more of an aid than you think.
Can't wait to hear your voices on this. I know I'll be hearing from the usual suspects -- and you all know that I love you -- but please, please, I'd especially like to hear the minds of those who've never written before.
As always, this'll be much fun. Think about it, pray over it -- and, obviously, anonymity is assured.
Many thanks in advance. Now get writin'!
PHOTO: AP/Plinio Lepri