News

Archbishop Nichols praises Jubilee priests for their "remarkable service"

26/10/2012 3:10 pm

Archbishop Vincent Nichols

The sum of 2,120 years is the combined figure of service in their priesthood of 45 priests who are currently celebrating their Ruby, Golden or Diamond Jubilee of ordination at the English College in Rome. Archbishop Vincent Nichols greeted them in a letter saying ”I hope that being together in the peace and beauty of Palazzola will provide you with an opportunity to share your joy and gratitude for that “extraordinary and indispensable gift of grace”. You will, no doubt, look back over those many years of your priesthood with a wide variety of thoughts and feelings, conscious of your own struggle and weakness at times but predominantly, I trust, with happiness and thanksgiving. In our lives as priests, we come to realize increasingly that our priesthood is a gift which has been given, first and foremost, not for us but for others. Yet, that priesthood, which is always Christ’s, is a sacramental gift for us too. It renews our faith, our hope and our love in our service of others. At its heart is our friendship with a person, our Lord, our friend and our brother, Jesus Christ. I pray that this friendship is refreshed and deepened as you celebrate this great gift.”

He continued: ‘In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI announced a special year of prayer for priests. He hoped this would “support that struggle of every priest ‘toward spiritual perfection, on which the effectiveness of his ministry primarily depends’.” I hope your time together can bear similar fruit, for the Holy Father went on to say that the year was “to help priests first of all – and with them all of God’s people – to rediscover and reinvigorate their awareness of the extraordinary and indispensable gift of grace that the ordained ministry is, for he who receives it, for the whole Church, and for the world, which would be lost without the real presence of Christ.”’

Message