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In address to priests, Pope emphasizes joy of the priesthood

Catholic World News - June 23, 2014

Pope Francis told a group of diocesan priests that there is “nothing more beautiful for a man” than being called to be a priest.

The Pope made his remarks in the cathedral of Cassano all’Ionio, a town of 18,000 in the province in the southern Italian region of Calabria. The Pope’s remarks followed an address to prisoners in Castrovillari, a helicopter ride to Cassano all’Ionio, and a visit to the sick in a hospital there.

Emphasizing the joy of the priesthood, Pope Francis said that in silent prayer before the tabernacle, a priest “Jesus make us see if we are working as good workers, or if we have become a little like ‘employees’; if we are open, generous ‘channels,’ through which his love, his grace can flow abundantly, or if instead we place ourselves at the center.”

The Pope also warned against “pastoral individualism” and called upon priests to choose to take part “in the beauty of fraternity” in the midst of “a subjectivist culture that exalts the ‘I’ even to the point of idolizing it.” Noting that the family is in “crisis,” the Pope concluded by calling upon the priests to work with families as well as “for the family as an institution.”

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