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Priesthood means service, Pope reminds students

Catholic World News - November 07, 2011

“To be a priest means to serve,” Pope Benedict XVI reminded students at the pontifical universities at a Mass on November 5.

Presiding at the Vespers service that formally opened the academic year, the Holy Father preached on the priestly ministry, emphasizing three essential qualities: "the aspiration to collaborate with Jesus in spreading the Kingdom of God, the gratuitousness of pastoral commitment, and an attitude of service.” A priest, he stressed, must sacrifice himself for the Church, making himself available to be “seized by Christ.”

The priests administer the sacraments, but do not control them, the Pope said. “They cannot dispose of them as they please.”

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