Monday, June 22, 2009

A Bishop's Letter to His Newly Reassigned Priest


The pastor of my mom's parish was recently reassigned. It is a sad time as the parishioners of Blessed Sacrament see their shepherd leaving after six years.

Obedient as he is called to be, Father will be going to his new assignment with the following instructions from his bishop:
...As you commence your priestly ministry... be sure to firmly establish the Eucharist as source and summit of the life of the parish. Do everything you can for the proper celebration of Eucharist on Sundays and every day of the week in accord with the norms of the Church, especially the most recent document, Redemptionis Sacramentum. I ask you not to substitute Communion Services for daily Mass.

Furthermore, to help our people appreciate the great mystery of the Eucharist, I would ask you to do all in your power to encourage reverence toward the Blessed Sacrament, both by the position of the tabernacle in the body of the Church and by the reverence that you personally show, and also by fostering Eucharistic Adoration as part of the spirituality of the parish.

As a sacred minister of the Sacraments, I also ask that you foster a greater participation in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Help your people to understand the "Reconciliation is principally a gift of the heavenly Father." (John Paul II in Reconiliatio et Paenitentia.5 and that confession of sin is the response of the heart that rests in the assurance of God's love.

Be sure to provide ample opportunities for people to come to receive the Sacrament of Penance individually.

Remember that as an ordained priest you have been made a "fisher of men" and given the grace of calling others to service in the Church. I, therefore, ask you by the silent example of your priestly life and by your preaching, as well as invitation, to encourage many young men o consider the priesthood and as many young men and women to consider consecrated life. Do all that you can to implement the Stirring into Flame pastoral initiative for increasing vocations in the diocese, for it is incumbent upon us to look for those who will take our place in the future.

In my recent pastoral, Evangelization: Grace and Vocation, I have set evangelizaiton as a priority for the Church of Paterson. The Church exists to evangelize. I encourage you to follow the direction set in this pastoral and to make your community grow through prayer and constant evangelization...

Sincerely your in Christ,
Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli, STD, SSL, DD
Bishop of Paterson
I want to thank Fr. Patrick for giving me permission to print this excerpt of Bishop's Serratelli's letter, and to share it with you.

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Sarah said...

That was beautiful! You put so many good things on your blog - thank you for sharing another gem! Mahalo.

Esther said...

You're welcome Sarah. BTW, E Komo Mai.