Sanctification in Daily Work
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Beautiful Video Prayer for Priests!

“May they live the gift they have received with JOY!” (h/t Priest Year News):

Called to Serve

Laying on of HandsYesterday a good friend of mine was ordained a Deacon in the diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph. Through this sacrament Angelo, and the two others ordained with him, pledged to live his life totally committed to serving Christ and the Church. He will be ordained a priest this December.

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. (Jn. 12:24-26)


    All three newly ordained Deacons with Bishop Finn at the end of Mass:
    the newly ordained

    Here I am at the reception with the overjoyed Deacon-soon-to-be-Priest:
    me and Angelo

Angelo’s brother Matthew is studying at a seminary in Rome and will likely be following his big brother into the priesthood sometime in the next couple of years! Please keep Angelo, Matt and all of our seminarians, priests and deacons in your prayers everyday!!

If you are interested I also have a Flickr account with more pictures from the ordination.

Fr. Korte Celebrates Silver Jubilee

nullOne of the most prayerful and dedicated priests in our diocese celebrated 25 years of priestly service this Sunday. He is associated with the work of Opus Dei and at his Jubilee Mass he openly acknowledged the important role Opus Dei plays in his religious formation. Among those in attendance at Fr. Korte’s Jubilee celebration were Bishop Robert Finn (Kansas City/St. Joseph, MO) who is a member of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, the organization for diocesan priest “associates”of Opus Dei, and Fr. Jay Alvarez, a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei.

In an interview with our local Catholic newspaper (no link available), Fr. Korte had many wonderful reflections on this important occasion:

On his calling:

“Some say that 90% of one’s vocation comes from one’s parents. Were it not for the strong Catholic formation I received at home, I would not be a priest today…

“I was immediately taken in by the story of that parish priest (from the book Everybody Calls Me Father) and all the work that he did with young people and I said, ‘that’s what I want to do.’ From that moment forward, I never had a doubt about my vocation – even though I had doubts about myself, whether I could do it.”

On his ordination and the priesthood:

“I was like a young man getting married. I was excited about my future in pastoral ministry – enthusiastic, hoping for the best and prepared to accept and deal with any problems as they came along…

“I am married to the Church…I have always seen celibacy as a great gift – not only practically but spiritually. To be solely dedicated to God is a real gift…[For priests, that] “hundred times more” (Mt. 19:29) refers not to a life of luxury but the spousal union of the priests with the Church and sacramental identification with Jesus the High Priest.”

On working with young people:

“A large benefit of having a parish school is that I can spend time in it. Working with young people and taking their souls seriously has always been a big part of my priestly ministry. I have found that when we give them a challenge, they are up to it.”

On prayer and the priesthood:

“I always say the human heart needs the Sacred Heart. We have the blessing of the Sacred Heart of Jesus living and beating, so to speak, in the Blessed Sacrament. It’s a great gift. I especially feel that in the morning and in the afternoon when I spend time in adoration…

I’m all for the intellectual life and solid doctrine, but we also need prayer and solid piety with that. When you get out and into the parishes, you find that a lot of your strength is spent dealing with intense pastoral and spiritual issues. And you need to have a way to recover your strength. As a priest, you can get caught up in a kind of activism. So you don’t want to neglect your prayer life. You need a way to re-energize between pastoral activities….

I’ve often said I would have been in the headlines were it not for a life of serious formation and prayer. I do get my serenity from Christ, and it is a gift. But I would easily lose it without prayer.”

Finally, Fr. Korte asks for the prayers of all faithful Catholics:

“So, I would like them all to pray that I remain faithful and that I continue to grow in my love of God and the Church, of which they’re all a major part.”

Indeed we should always pray for all of our priests – and the Pope!

Read this article from the Catholic Key: Bishop Finn: Opus Dei has strengthened my spiritual life
According to the National Catholic Reporter Bishop Finn is one of four “Opus Dei Bishops” in the U.S. The others include Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn and Archbishop John Myers of Newark, N.J.

Pray for Priests

The Chrism Mass is always one of my favorite Masses of the year because it is when all of the priests gather to renew their committment to serve. The witness of devoted priests is one of the things that makes me proud to be Catholic and I love to see them all together in one place. It is a source of hope to know that so many men have literally given their lives in service to Christ and His Church. I was not able to attend our Chrism Mass this year, but my mother was kind enough to send me this picture:


We have had our share of heartbreak over the years, of priests leaving their vocations, some who were very close friends of ours. That is why it is imperative that we pray for our priests who are not immune to temptation and human weakness.

St. Faustina’s prayer for priests:

“O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church: Grant it love and the light of Your Spirit, and give power to the words of Priests so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to You, O Lord. Lord, give us holy Priests; You yourself maintain them in holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil’s traps and snares which are continually being set for the soul of Priests. May the power of Your mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of Priests, for You can do all things.” (Diary #1052)

Opus Dei Vicar ‘Zapped’ by God

Canada’s Opus Dei Vicar Msgr. Fred Dolan shares his vocation story with Canadian Catholic News:

On Dec. 5, 1975, Dolan had what he calls his “Road to Damascus” experience. Working on a paper on Gulliver’s Travels, he decided to take a study break. He went over to the center’s book shelf and took down C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce. A friend had told him about scene depicting a lizard on a man’s shoulder arguing with his guardian angel on the other. He found it immediately.

“The Holy Spirit used the pages of C.S. Lewis to zap me,” Msgr. Dolan said. Instantly he saw two paths open up before him.

The path of a “numerary,” Opus Dei’s term for members committed to lifelong celibacy, promised “enormous happiness and fruitfulness.”

The other path – that of marriage and a family – also opened up and he saw he could choose it with no problem. He realized instantly, however, the celibate path “was what God wanted” for him…

He’s never experienced any doubt that he made the right decision and remains “grateful” for a “powerful sense I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

“If you give the Holy Spirit ‘carte blanche,’ you just fasten your seat belt and hold on for the ride,” he said. “It’s always pretty good.”

He also said Opus Dei’s support through excellent spiritual direction and the stress on the Sacrament of Penance helps keep any attacks of doubt or conflict at bay. “Nothing gets beyond the level of a brief skirmish,” he said.

Born in 1952, Dolan grew up in Bethesda, Md., as the oldest of six children in a family that took the Catholic faith seriously. His father attended mass daily and his mother converted as a teenager. Dolan said at age 16 he “met Opus Dei just at the right time” through his best friend…

Opus Dei gave him input on how to make his life complete, he said. It helped him develop a disciplined prayer life, take a professional attitude towards his studies, and “aim high in everything I do.”

Pope John Paul II ordained Dolan in 1983 at St. Peter’s in Rome…

Opus Dei celebrates its 50th anniversary of coming to Canada this June, and next year, Msgr. Dolan will celebrate his 10th anniversary here.

I love this part of the article. It’s very typical of an Opus Dei priest:

Msgr. Dolan always wears his clerical collar. In fact, when he was interviewed by CBC Television’s Evan Solomon last year during the height of “The Da Vinci Code” movie controversy, he showed his empty closet, bare except for a few black shirts and slacks off the sparely furnished bedroom bed at his residence in Montreal.

He said the clerical garb signals to others, “I exist for you. How can I serve you?”

“It pays to advertise,” he said, smiling. He often has people coming up to him, asking for prayer. He now makes a practice of going to the train station or the airport at least an hour early so people can approach them. “If priests are invisible, that shuts down,” he said.

38 New Opus Dei Priests

From Zenit:

The new priests come from Ireland, the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Germany, Spain, Colombia, Italy, the Philippines, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, France, Congo, Brazil, Argentina, Kenya and Guatemala.

During the Mass, Bishop Echevarría offered the new priests some advice from Opus Dei’s founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá: “We priests must only speak of God. We will not speak of politics, or social ideologies or questions extraneous to the priestly task. In this way, we will make the Holy Church and the Roman Pontiff loved.”

Brian Maguire, an American who flew to Rome to attend the event, said: “Many Americans are understandably discouraged by the so-called vocations crisis here at home. They should go to Rome. There’s no doubt that God is renewing the Church from its heart in Rome.

“Saturday’s ordinations showed not only that many young men are responding to this call, but that they are doing so generously and enthusiastically when it’s presented to them as a lifelong surrender of self for others.”

Pray For Vocations On Priesthood Sunday

Priesthood SundayToday is Priesthood Sunday USA. This is being promoted by the USA Council of Serra International.

Please join me on this special day, Priesthood Sunday, in praying for our priests, in praising God for their courage and their generosity. As your bishop I urge you to make your appreciation for your parish priest known. A simple note, a smile or a phone call to assure him of your loving care and gratitude for his presence in the life of your local church will go a long way to serve the greater good of our wonderful and growing Catholic Church.