Attacks on the priesthood have grown unrelenting in recent years, as incidents of sexual misconduct reveal chronic, deeply-rooted flaws in seminaries, rectories, and chanceries across the country. Keen observers (among them some Catholics) foretell the end of the priesthood — and even perhaps a dissolution of the Church itself.
Christ Himself instituted the priesthood; with tender love, He watches over it. When sin brings down some priests, He causes grace to abound in others.
Evidence for this may be as close as the rectory of your own parish; and it extends across our country to church after church where, undeterred by scandal-filled headlines and anti-Catholic editorials, thousands of modest priests continue to serve their flocks faithfully, living quiet lives of love, prayer, and service.
To remind us of this, author Michael S. Rose has gathered here the true stories of ten of these faithful priests. Some are young, some old. They hail from different backgrounds and have different ministries; some work with the poor while others walk the corridors of power. Their talents vary as much as their temperaments.
One trait they share in common: God’s grace is working vigorously in each of their lives, sustaining in them a burning love for Christ and an unwavering fidelity to His Church.
These true stories of ten real priests show us that, contrary to the media reports, priestly virtue — courage, humility, sacrifice, and above all, charity — continues to flourish in rectories throughout America. Although its ranks have thinned, there still remains a thriving priesthood of faithful men who are worthy of our support and who deserve our gratitude.
Above all, these stories remind us to be grateful to God for the gift of the priesthood itself, which He instituted on Holy Thursday as the earthly means by which so many of His divine graces flow to us.
Read these stories, and let your faith be restored.
Among the priests you’ll meet:
The pastor whose homilies calling for openness to life led to a parish conspicuously full of babies!
The military chaplain who ministers to soldiers abroad, and to the poor and destitute at home
The vocations director who defied conventional wisdom and created a vocations boom for his diocese
The elderly pastor of a ghetto parish who refused to cancel the Easter Vigil even as rioters swarmed past his church
The persevering Kentucky pastor whose fidelity to daily parish duties enables him to convert his people's hearts — one at a time
The American missionary to the Russian Far East who battled the ghosts of Communism to establish every parish in a thousand-miles radius
And other inspiring stories of everyday priests to give you renewed pride in the priesthood and gratitude for the good priests God has given us.
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