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Sunday, February 25, 2007

About the Priesthood...

The following (unedited) essay is by Father James Farfaglia, pastor of St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas.A young priest makes national news because he is leaving the priesthood. But what about the thousands of Catholic priests, young and old, who today and every day, are faithfully fulfilling their duties as Catholic priests? Why haven't they made national Internet news? What about all of us that are out there, doing their job, most of the time under very difficult circumstances?We are persecuted by homosexual militant priests. We are vilified by traditionalists because we celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass. We are criticized and abandoned by parishioners because we stand up for the Church's teaching on birth control, abortion, and pre-marital sex. We push confession only to sit in the confessional for hours alone. And yet, here we are, doing our job faithfully every day — and we are not featured on the Internet.Every day we drag our tired bodies through the battles of modern America. We deal with our own sinfulness and weaknesses. Sometimes we fall, but we get back up again through the sacrament of confession. We find consolation and the strength through the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary.On the Titanic, a group of three musicians decided to remain on the ship playing their beautiful music as the ship went down. They could have jumped ship with many of those who were able to get into the life boats, but they decided to remain and keep playing their music. They remained and played "Nearer to God to Thee".We know from Sacred Scripture that "the gates of hell shall not prevail," but in the meantime, the Catholic Church in this country is in a terrible mess. Catholic priests need to remain at their posts. Parishes are closing, entire dioceses may disappear, but the Church will still go on. I for one, with the grace of God, will remain at my post until I die of natural causes or someone puts a bullet in my head.Isaac Jogues had some of his fingers bit off by wild Indians (sorry, I am not p.c.), and he returned to America only to face martyrdom. Edmond Campion continued to serve his people knowing that a horrible death would eventually take place. Miguel Pro courageously continued to defend the Catholic Faith in Mexico and then died also a martyr as he cried out "Viva Cristo Rey."Where are the Isaacs? Where are the Edmonds? Where are the priests like Miguel? They are there. They are the thousands of Catholic priests in their parishes, in the seminaries, in the hospitals, in the mission lands, in the universities and schools faithfully carrying out their priestly duties each day with a smile on their face even though they are crucified every day with the Lord that called them to serve Him and his people.Catholic priests of God: do not be afraid; do not be discouraged; be faithful; be a hero. Remember to always pray: Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.

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