Adopt-a-Priest for the Year for Priests

This Friday, 19 June, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, begins the Year for Priests. It is associated with St John Vianney, the parish priest who spent hours upon hours in the confessional. Its aim is to favour priests' struggle towards moral and spiritual perfection, upon which the effectiveness of their ministry principally depends. Our Pope reminds us that the Church and the sacraments are dependant upon priests for their very existence.

Plenary indulgences may be gained in this year for priests in different ways by priests and the faithful:

"(A) All truly penitent priests who, on any day, devotedly pray Lauds or Vespers before the Blessed Sacrament exposed to public adoration or in the tabernacle, and ... offer themselves with a ready and generous heart for the celebration of the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance, will be granted Plenary Indulgence, which they can also apply to their deceased confreres, if in accordance with current norms they take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. Priests are furthermore granted Partial Indulgence, also applicable to deceased confreres, every time they devotedly recite the prayers duly approved to lead a saintly life and to carry out the duties entrusted to them.

"(B) All truly penitent Christian faithful who, in church or oratory, devotedly attend Holy Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ, supreme and eternal Priest, for the priests of the Church, or perform any good work to sanctify and mould them to His Heart, are granted Plenary Indulgence, on the condition that they have expiated their sins through Sacramental Confession and prayed in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. This may be done on the opening and closing days of the Year of Priests, on the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Jean Marie Vianney, on the first Thursday of the month, or on any other day established by the ordinaries of particular places for the good of the faithful.

For this year for priests, the good people at Bevansinc. have started a prayer campaign for the priests of their diocese (Arundel and Brighton). I liked that idea so much that I've appropriated it for my own diocese, Denver. I ask any of you who happen to visit to contact me, and I will give you the name of a priest for whom you will pray daily during this year of priests (19 June 2009-19 June 2010). I imagine many of our priests will not get the whole year, as we're cutting it rather close to the start of the year, but better late than never. And if you fail to pray each day for your priest, that's ok. Just make an effort. Some fraction of daily prayers for a year is better than none. Sacrifices (e.g., penance, fasting, abstinence) for the intention of your priest would be fitting accompaniments to your prayer. Please pray especially for his sanctification. It would be wonderful if you adopted an Arundel and Brighton priest as well.

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