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PENAMPANG – As a preparation for the observance of the Day of Prayer for Priestly Sanctification, KK clergy had a half-day study day on priestly holiness.
Thirty priests, one archbishop and two deacons gathered for the half-day study day at Vianney Home here on 7 June 2018.
Pope St John Paul II instituted the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests in 2002 on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus because the feast of the Sacred Heart celebrates God’s merciful love, and that becomes tangible for priests in the Eucharistic Mystery, which they celebrate daily, and in the sacramental pardon which they administer and receive.
This year Father Mattheus Luta facilitated the reflection based on the theme “The Personal Sanctification of the Priest,” drawing his sources from The Priesthood by Stockums W, Vatican II Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priest Presbyterorum Ordinis (7 Dec 1965) n.18, and Priestly Ministry and Priestly Holiness by Carter E, in his book Shepherds of Christ Issue 5 (1999) 1-8.
The objective of the Study Day is to create awareness on the personal sanctification of priest.
The facilitator challenged the participants to look into their own personal lives. He referred to Bishop Wilhelm Stockums’ book, The Priesthood where he stated, “The priesthood is an objectively holy state, holy in its origin, holy in its nature and goal, holy in its functions.”
The author elaborated further that the priest’s person is sacramentally consecrated. It means that, the whole person of a priest is being consecrated. This would include the priest’s hands and feet, tongue and lips, eyes and sight, and the heart.
Fr Mattheus also suggested to the participants to look into means for helping priests in their progress in holiness by means of Presbyterorum Ordinis. The document presented some means for holiness such as the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Confession, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Meditation, just to name a few.
He concluded his reflection with article from Fr Edward Carter SJ: “To grow in holiness, to advance in the spiritual life, requires a growth in surrender to Christ. Growth in holiness means allowing Jesus to possess us more and more. The more He possesses us, the more He can use us as instruments in the work of the kingdom. The more the Saviour possesses us, the more fruitful our ministry.” (Priestly Ministry and Priestly Holiness).
Time was given for personal reflection before the concluding with a Holy Hour.
Before heading for lunch, Archbishop John Wong took time to recall with them the recent recollection for the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (EMCs) where he reflected with the EMCs their required state of holiness because they carry and distribute the Holy Communion, the Body of Christ.
“The sanctity of priestly life is therefore affecting the whole person of the priest, that is, his eyes, hands, and feet,” said Abp Wong.
He then invited the priests and deacons to join in the Eucharistic celebration for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the cathedral at 7:30 pm. – Fr Mattheus Luta