NEW YORK — In commemoration of the Church’s Year for Priests, a yearlong celebration of Catholic clergy around the world, Holy Name Province has created a brochure highlighting the Franciscan tradition of ministry to priests.
The colorful tri-fold pamphlet, created by Russell Becker, OFM, HNP’s secretary for missionary evangelization, features a widely recognized icon of Jesus on the cover. In a litany on the inside panel, Russell, who is also director of the Province’s Franciscan Missionary Union, writes: “Jesus, you emptied yourself for our sake, fill our priests with your spirit of selfless love.”
Free copies can be obtained from the Province’s Office of Development in batches of 50. An electronic version of the brochure is available for download on HNP’s Web site.
In March, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Church would celebrate a “Year for Priests,” beginning on June 19. The year also commemorates the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, a patron of priests and a member of the Secular Franciscan.
“Praying for priests and asking God to bless them and strengthen them in their ministry is something dear to the Franciscans,” wrote Russell. He also noted St. Francis’ devotion and reverence for priests.
The brochure states: “Pope Benedict thought that all of us could use a year that was set aside for priests to pray for them, give them an opportunity for renewal, and encourage more people to answer the call to ministry.”
The brochure reads: “We, Franciscans, offer this prayer for priests as something all of us can do to share in the Year for Priests. Join us. We can all do a lot of good with our prayer.”
Russell said the idea for the brochure came when he recalled his years teaching future priests in the seminary. Upon this reflection, Russell said he recognized a need to remind people to support and pray for the priests who have been positive influences in their lives.
“In Holy Name Province, ministry to priests has been an important part of our ministries from the beginning,” he wrote. “Many friars are also spiritual directors and mentors to priests. Providing help to priests in parishes and other institutions for Masses, confessions, other sacramental and non-sacramental ministries, happens every day.”
Jerome Massimino, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, suggested the pamphlet be mailed to all priests in the Archdiocese of New York.
To order copies in quantities of 50 or more, contact Barbara Sincaglia at 973-778-1915, ext. 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.