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Prayer is central to priest's effectiveness, Pope says

Catholic World News - January 26, 2012

At a January 26 meeting with students and faculty from three regional Italian seminaries, Pope Benedict XVI underlined the central importance of prayer in the life of a parish priest.

The Pope observed that the regional seminaries, founded a century ago as part of the reform in priestly training under Pope Leo XIII, were right to emphasize theological study for future priests. Pastors are better able to respond to the questions of the faithful if they “understand and appreciate the internal structure of the faith as a whole,” the Pontiff said.

However, Pope Benedict continued, “the study of theology must always have an intense bond to the life of prayer.” And the life of prayer is the most important element of a priest’s preparation for ministry. “It is, in fact, vital that the multiple activities of a priest's ministry be harmoniously integrated with his spiritual life.”

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