Catholic Church in England and Wales celebrates Year for Priests

Pope Benedict XVI is officially launching the special ‘Year for Priests’ today,  Friday 19 June 2009 during a service of Vespers at the Vatican Basilica.  The start of the year will be marked with a Mass at Westminster Cathedral at 5.30pm  celebrated by Archbishop Vincent Nichols.

Archbishop Nichols said that this was a year “to appreciate our priests, to treasure their dedication and pastoral work and a year during which we will pray for our priests; that God will bless and strengthen them.”

The Mass will be followed by the launch of the book “Priesthood: A Life Open to Christ” which has been compiled by Canon Daniel Cronin and contains 78 articles on the priesthood written by bishops and priests from around the world.

Fr Eddie Clare, from the National Office for Vocation said: “One important outcome would be a renewed emphasis on vocations. The more we value our priests and their irreplaceable presence at the heart of the Church, more men may consider that this may be their calling in life.”

Many of the 22 dioceses of England and Wales are planning events and resources throughout the course of the Year for Priests. The Archdiocese of Birmingham have created their own website which also features nationwide

The national website, will be a portal for resources - these will be added to the site over the course of the year and will include testimonies from priests and seminarians around England and Wales.

The Year for Priests also coincides with the visit of the Relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux (Sept 2009). St Thérèse had a special place in her heart for priests and her prayer for priests features on the Year for Priests prayer cards that will be distributed to the dioceses.

Source: Archbishops House

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