From Archbishop Chaput:
Each of us should reflect long and deeply on the meaning of the “new evangelization.” Those words have weight; they’re not just a slogan. A new missionary spirit needs to be born in each of our hearts, both lay and clergy; and if it is, then God will use it to win the soul of the world around us to Jesus Christ.Read the full column HERE.
In a special way, we should focus on forming and supporting our priests as effectively as we can. The reason is simple. There’s no Gospel witness without the Church; there’s no Church without the Eucharist; and there’s no Eucharist without the priest.
We need more priests — good men who are well formed; men of courage, zeal and genuine humility; men who love Jesus Christ and his people, and prove it with their lives. This is the first and most urgent step in renewing our Church.
Of course, if it stops there — no matter how many good seminarians we attract — we fail. Ultimately, while there’s no Church without the Eucharist, and no Eucharist without the priest, it’s also true that there are no priests without families on fire for Jesus Christ. Families who help their sons to hear God’s call; who affirm and support and encourage the priests who already serve them; who live their lives in a way which proves to our priests that their own sacrifices make a difference.
What I pray God builds through us in our Archdiocese over the next decade, is not just an old way of seminary formation with a new vocabulary, more numbers and an updated marketing strategy, but something true to what the “new evangelization” really is — a communion and mission of the whole Church, ordained, religious and lay, each respecting the other, each serving the other, all serving the Lord by bringing the Good News to the world, and the world to the Good News.
That’s the equality of the faithful: each vocation unique and invaluable in dignity; each complementing and completing the other in the Lord; altogether in service; and on fire with the love of God. May 19 is an invitation to grace; but so is every ordination, every marriage, every baptism.