Reflections" regarding THE PATH TO COMMUNION (continued)

Prayer  ~~  "Come Spirit of Love!  Come that we may be one, as the Father and You are One.  One united with You!  

 

One united through our Baptism in FAITH and in LOVE!"

The priesthood as a sign of unity

In the Apostolic exhortation, THE CHURCH IN AMERICA, 

Pope John Paul II reminds our priests that they must be in union or communion with the Bishop of his particular diocese. 

This is because each Bishop, as the Loving Shepherd of his community, has been entrusted with its care and is responsible to lead his community to "encounter" Jesus Christ Who is THE GOOD SHEPHERD.  

Our Holy Father gently reminds our Bishops that because the Bishop is a sign of unity, he must avoid involvement in party politics because any political involvement would cause disunity.  

The Synod Fathers encourage the development of a pastoral plan for our parish priests in order to strengthen their spirituality, their life's work and their own identity  ~~  while all the time being focused on following Christ and of course, always trying to obey the Father's Will

Our priests, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, "...are the bearers of grace..,"  and as they administer the various Sacraments to their people, 
the
priests themselves 
become more HOLY

Being greatly aware of the large amount of work required by each priest in their particular ministry, Pope John Paul II reminds them to remain focused on what is really essential 
That their true vocation is to
represent
 the
presence of Jesus Christ, 

THE GOOD SHEPHERD
~~ and the source of all LOVE.  

He gently reminds our priests to "...offer themselves each day with Christ in the Eucharist..." in order to help the faithful personally and as a community, experience the "Living" Jesus Christ," while at the same time, themselves being good examples of the merciful Christ.  

They may accomplish this be being "..instruments of forgiveness and reconciliation and giving themselves unselfishly to serve others." 

The Synod Fathers realize that today many of our priests, unfortunately, are occupied with the secular administration of their parishes.  
Our Pope reminds them to try to delegate more of these responsibilities to people of the parish who are given certain abilities and gifts ~~ matching their ability with an appropriate task.  
In this way, the priests time becomes freed up to "... represent better within the community the presence of Jesus, who draws His people together."  

Every priest, because he has been given special gifts from God, should be allowed to use his particular gifts for 
God's greater honor and glory!  

He especially encourages the priests to be supportive of one another.  

Pope John Paul II sincerely praises and thanks all of our priests in AMERICA for their diligent hard work and their commitment to "..being pastors, preachers of the Gospel and agents of ecclesial communion." 
 He encourages them to continue to offer their lives in service of the Gospel.

What the Synod Fathers are trying to say is that our priests should strive to be the living image of Jesus Christ by the teaching of the WORD and the administering of the SACRAMENTS.

 

Promoting vocations

Vocations to the priesthood or religious life are a gift from God  
and 
"..they are born in communities of faith, above all in the family, the parish, Catholic schools and other Church organizations."

  Priests are necessary within our communities! 
THEREFORE
as a COMMUNITY,

Families must be supportive in encouraging a young person's vocation if that is his calling from God.  
Bishops and other priests are important people in "...encouraging vocations by personally representing the CALL  (to the priesthood) and above all by their witness of a life of fidelity, joy, enthusiasm and holiness."  
The entire people of God
need to pray humbly and consistently for these vocations to occur.

In regards to the seminaries, the Holy Father feels that it is their serious responsibility to concentrate on the young men's spiritual formation ~~ through constant conversion, the spirit of prayer and reception of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance 

In this way, they may really learn to be "...close to the Lord and learn to commit themselves generously to pastoral work." 

He advises us that special attention should be given to indigenous peoples in regards to vocations.  

In that they are rooted in a specific culture, the young people should not be asked to give up their culture.  

 

The Synod Fathers expressly wish to THANK AND BLESS all those people who dedicate their lives to the delicate formation of  our future priests in the seminaries.

New Message of Hope 

The Encounter with The Living Jesus Christ

Encountering
Jesus Christ in America Today
The Path of Conversion

The Path to Communion

The Path  to
Solidarity