New Book Claims Priesthood is Critical for the Success of the Human Race
by Christine Schicker Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Christine Schicker, 404-610-8871 or
Bishop David Ricken Offers Meditations to Priests
OMAHA, Neb., November 11 – The Year for Priests, announced by Pope Benedict XVI earlier this year, is intended to help priests build a strong spiritual identity. The year will close on June 19, 2010 in St. Peter’s Square at a world meeting for priests.
In an address given to members of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in May, the pope stressed the importance of having a personal “bond with Christ” in the priestly ministry. “He wants us as his 'friends,' friends who seek intimacy with him,” said Benedict. The pope also emphasized the need to have “an inner strength and a spiritual firmness capable of safeguarding…priestly identity.” He explained the necessity of these characteristics in order to avoid “the negative effects of the worldly mentality.”
The Institute for Priestly Formation, based at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., wants to assist priests in building and maintaining their bond with Christ as well as their priestly identity. IPF Publications, the publishing arm of the Institute for Priestly Formation, is releasing Be Thou My Vision: Meditations on the Priesthood by Bishop David L. Ricken, Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.
Ricken’s book asks “What does it mean to be a priest in these times of illusion and false prophets?” His response is that the world needs hope. “In the midst of dangerous world conflicts; in the midst of a pagan and secular society where almost anything goes; in the midst of broken marriages and family crises; in the midst of the scandals that have shaken the Church, like it or not, this is the world redeemed by Jesus Christ,” Ricken said. “This is the world to which we are commissioned to bring hope and cheer — the promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Priests should be living examples of His hope, His cheerfulness, and His promise.”
Be Thou My Vision is a series of short mediations that will lead priests on a contemplative journey to the core of the priesthood and will deepen and renew a priest’s love of his vocation.
Bishop Ricken insists that priests are chosen specifically and personally by Jesus Christ for a definite task. “Whatever that task may be and wherever our place of labor is, He is with us and beside us every step of the way,” Ricken said. “We are living extensions of Jesus Christ, and once we lose sight of this truth we lose the most powerful tool in our spiritual arsenal: a living sense of that bond we have with Jesus Christ, with the God Who created us and led us into the priesthood.”
For more information about Be Thou My Vision: Meditations on the Priesthood or to schedule an interview with Bishop David Ricken, please contact Christine Schicker with The Maximus Group at 404-610-8871 or CSchicker@maximusmg.com.
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