Dear Parishioners of St. James:
Praised be Jesus Christ!
On August 4th the Church celebrated the feast day of St. John Vianney, patron saint of priests. God gave him the extraordinary gifts of reading people’s souls and performing miracles. His holy life underscores the dignity of the priesthood which Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted on the night before He offered His life on the Cross.
In this era of skepticism and derision (even among Catholics) many people have lost the understanding of the dignity of the priesthood. God calls men who are sinners in every generation and endows them with divine gifts and privileges. By virtue of ordination men receive the Sacrament of the Priesthood which gives them the responsibility to teach, sanctify and shepherd God’s people. Priests offer the self-same sacrifice of the Cross in the Holy Mass and distribute the graces won by Christ to the faithful who are desperate for salvation. They forgive sins in the name of the Most Blessed Trinity. Priests heal the sick and cast out demons since they have been given the authority from Jesus Himself.
What dignity God has conferred on priests! Since they have such a high calling, the faithful can expect their priests to pursue holiness and have a duty to pray for that intention. Priests must be humble, faithful, courageous, kind, manly and persevering. Priests freely renounce their natural right to a wife and a family for the sake of the Kingdom to come. They are mediators between God and humanity interceding not only for Catholics but for the entire world.
Without priests the world would surely be lost. The Lord gave us priests so that lost sheep might be gathered into Christ’s eternal sheepfold.
Pray for your priests. Pray for more holy vocations to the priesthood. May Christ, our Eternal High Priest, bless and preserve all priests so that they might be His instruments of communion and light in this world and forever in the Church in Heaven.
God bless you,