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Be pastors, not functionaries, Pope charges newly ordained priests

Catholic World News - April 22, 2013

“You are pastors, not functionaries,” Pope Francis told a group of 10 men after ordaining them to the priesthood on Sunday, April 21.

In his homily for the ordination Mass, the Pope urged the new priests to imitate Christ in serving their people. “Today I ask you, in the name of Christ and the Church, never to tire of being merciful,” he said.

“Meditating on the law of the Lord, see that you believe what you read, that you teach what you believe, and that you practice what you teach,” the Pope said. “Remember too that the Word of God is not your property: it is the Word of God. And the Church is the custodian of the Word of God.”

Before the ceremony in St. Peter’s basilica, Pope Francis surprised the 10 deacons by joining them in the sacristry for a period of private prayer. He spent a few moments with each candidate for ordination, giving each his blessing and praying for the Virgin Mary would watch over his priestly ministry.

Four of the 10 newly ordained priests were prepared in Rome’s diocesan seminary for service there; 4 were from the Redemptoris mater seminary, and will serve the Neocatechumenal Way; and 2 are missionaries of the Oblates of Divine Love.

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