I spotted the other day a nice article about the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy that now exist in the United States, Australia, and Britain. The confraternity in each country is entirely independent of the others, but each certainly shares similar aims.
In January 2010, the Confraternities of the U.S. and Australia met for a joint conference in Rome, which was a wonderful experience to be part of. Another joint conference in Rome is planned for 2015. Clergy from Britain who were present in Rome in 2010 have since formed their own Confraternity. I have heard also that moves are afoot to establish a Confraternity in Ireland.
See the article here.
Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (ACCC) – website
ACCC in Queensland on Facebook
Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (U.S.) – website
Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (U.S.) on Facebook
Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (U.S.) – New York Chapter on Facebook
Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (British Province) – website
Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (British Province) on Facebook
2012 marks the Golden Jubilee of presbyteral ordination of Fr Ray Kearney, a priest of the Archdiocese of Brisbane. Fr Ray was the first pastor I served under as curate when I was ordained. I have very happy memories of my early days of ordained ministry at Sacred Heart, Booval, with Fr Ray and Pauline Peters, the then pastoral associate of the parish, and, not forgetting, of course, Yinnie – of happy memory – the presbytery dog! I later also served a further three years as Fr Ray’s associate pastor in Sunnybank and Acacia Ridge parishes.
Former parishioners and friends of Fr Ray – from Booval, Sunnybank, and elsewhere – might be interested to know of two public events to mark his Golden Jubilee.
* This Friday, 15 June 2012, several of Fr Ray’s former associate pastors will concelebrate the 12.30pm Mass at Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane, with Fr Ray as principal celebrant.
* Next Wednesday, 20 June 2012, all the jubilarians of the Archdiocese will be honoured at Mass concelebrated with Archbishop Coleridge at 10.30am in Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane.
All are invited and welcome to both Masses. I’m sure that Fr Ray would be delighted to see you there, as we give thanks to God for his fifty years of priestly service in the Archdiocese.
I recently finished reading Archbishop Gomez’ Men of Brave Heart: The Virtue of Courage in the Priestly Life. There is plenty to digest and reflect on in this work, and a good number of practical suggestions for priests.
Archbishop Gomez draws heavily on St Thomas Aquinas, and a variety of other sources. The footnotes are extensive with plenty of leads to other material for the interested reader.
This book would make an excellent Lenten read for a priest, and indeed would be a great gift for your Parish Priest!
A great opportunity for seminarians is on offer by Priests for Life Canada:
Seminarians’ Pro-Life Congress
Mount Mary Immaculate, Ancaster, Ontario
August 27 to August 31, 2012
Congress Fee: $100 (refundable if unable to attend)
Seminarians will not be denied attendance due to a lack of funds.
Seminarians: Apply Now!
If you are not a seminarian, perhaps you could make an offering to Priests for Life Canada to sponsor a seminarian. Go to: www.PriestsForLifeCanada.com
From my reading this evening …
“A priest has two acts: one is the principal, namely to consecrate the body of Christ; the other is secondary, namely to prepare God’s people for the reception of this sacrament.”
— St Thomas Aquinas, Summa, suppl., q. 40, art. 4
And words that are both reassuring and challenging …
“… our priesthood flows from the priesthood of Christ in his passion and death on the cross. That means that the priest must take Jesus Christ as much more than a role model for his ministry, although Christ should be that for us, too. Our imitation of Christ must be more than surface. It must be intimate and integral. It must reach into the core of our understanding of ourselves as priests and ministers of God. Our lives must bear witness to a courageous, ever deepening configuration to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
“I must here repeat something I have tried to emphasize throughout this book: the priestly vocation is a thrilling participation in the holiness and mission of the Trinity. But the priest is not called to be a perfect man. The sacramental identity that we receive in Orders does not cancel out our faults and weaknesses. The power to act in persona Christi is instrumental, not actual. We are vessels for God’s power. In the negative sense, this means, as the Church has always believed, that we can do the work of God whether we are holy or not.
“However, we are called and capable in Christ of so much more than mediocrity. The priest is called to desire the perfection and holiness of Christ and to strive, with the help of God’s grace, to achieve some measure of that perfection and holiness in his life. We are not perfect, but we should want to be — for Christ and for the people we serve. And in this we must turn to our model, Jesus Christ.”
— Archbishop Jose J. Gomez, Men of Brave Heart: The Virtue of Courage in the Priestly Life. Huntington, IN, Our Sunday Visitor, 2009, p. 156.
Almighty and Eternal God
look with mercy upon Your priests,
sharing Your Fatherhood in Holy Church.
Your Son, the Lord Jesus, has made them
priests and victims with Himself:
day by day may they offer the worship
of His Mystical Body
in the Eucharistic Sacrifice,
with their own homage
of heart, mind and body.
By the Holy Spirit, make them zealous
in their priestly ministry;
keep them devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary,
obedient to the Pope and their own Bishop,
and through them inspire young men
to serve You in the priesthood.
To You, O Holy Trinity,
Be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy
Tu es sacerdos in aeternum.
Two friends of mine were ordained priests on Saturday. Fr Samuel Chua and Fr Joseph Chua (unrelated!) are Cistercian monks at Tarrawarra Abbey, Melbourne (Australia).
Tarrawarra Abbey is a community of Cistercian monks in the heart of the Yarra Valley, 60 kilometres north-east of the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Founded in 1954 by Mount St Joseph Abbey, Roscrea in Ireland, the monks of Tarrawarra belong to the worldwide Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance (OCSO), popularly known as the “Trappists”.
Tarrawarra is the only Cistercian community in Australia. Samuel and Joseph entered Tarrawarra just a little before I did when I was discerning a monastic vocation.
See Tarrawarra’s Facebook page here
Congratulations Fr Samuel and Fr Joseph! Ad multos annos!
Cardinal Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, has given a message for priests at the beginning of the Advent season.
in this special time of Grace the Most Holy Virgin Mary, Icon and Model of the Church, wants us to be introduced to that vigilance which is the constant attitude of Her Immaculate heart.
Dearest Brothers and Friends, let us ask Her for a heart that is able to relive Christ’s coming in our lives, a heart able to contemplate the way in which the Son of God, on the day of our Ordination, radically and definitely marked our entire existence immerging us in His priestly heart. He renews us daily in the Eucharistic Celebration so that our own lives become transfigured into Christ’s coming for humanity.
In the “Yes” of the Annunciation, we are also encouraged to be coherent to the “Yes” of our ordination. In the Visitation to Saint Elisabeth, we are encouraged to live that divine intimacy in order to bring Christ’s presence to the others and to translate it into joyful service without the limits of time and space. In the Holy Mother’s act of wrapping the Baby Jesus in swaddling clothes and adoring Him, we learn to treat the Most Holy Eucharist with an ineffable love. By conserving every event within our own hearts, we learn from Mary how to gather around the Only Necessity.
It sounds like things are going really well in the newly established Confraternity of Catholic Clergy in the UK, as reported by Fr Blake. This is wonderful news indeed – and may it spread. This is the sort of association of clergy that we need.