The first “task” a priest has to do is to be a believer and to become one ever anew and ever more. Faith is never simply there automatically; it must be lived. It leads us into conversation with God which involves speaking and listening to the same degree. Faith and prayer belong together; they cannot be separated. The time spent by a priest on prayer and listening to Scripture is never time lost to pastoral care or time withheld from others. People sense whether the work and words of their pastor spring from prayer fabricated at his desk.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, from A New Song for the Lord, tr. by Martha M Matesich, NY: Crossroad Publishing Co., 1996.
Pope Francis on the Priesthood
- Message for the 51st World Day of Prayers for Vocations on May 11, 2014
- The joy of priesthood and the beauty of fraternity – To the priests of the Diocese of Cassano all’Jonio, June 23, 2014.
- Priests, never forget your first love – At Friday Morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, June 6, 2014.
- Be shepherds like the Good Shepherd – To the Pontifical Leonine College of Anagni, a regional seminary for several of the Diocese around the city of Rome, April 14, 2014.
- VIDEO: Does your day end with God or with television? – To the priest of Rome inside Paul VI Hall for the traditional, yearly gathering to mark the start of Lent, March 6, 2014.
- Homily on the day of Priestly Ordinations, April 21, 2013.
Pope Benedict XVI on the Priesthood
- Letter Proclaiming a Year for Priests on The 150th Anniversary of the “Dies Natalis” of the Curé of Ars
- A wonderful reflection on Saint John Mary Vianney and the priesthood given June 16, 2009.
- Homily at the Mass for the Conclusion of the Year for Priests on June 11, 2010
- Homily at the Mass Opening the Year for Priests on June 19, 2009
- General Audiences given during the Year for Priests
- Chrism Mass Homily on Holy Thursday, March 20, 2008
- The essence of priesthood is service. All priests are encouraged to renew their “yes” to the call of God.
- Chrism Mass Homily on Holy Thursday, April 13, 2006
- The Lord makes us priests His friends. We should recommit ourselves to this friendship every day.
- “If You Abide in Christ, You Will Bear Much Fruit”
- Address to seminarians attending World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, on August 19, 2005.
- On the Nature of Priesthood
- Speech given by Cardinal Ratzinger on October 1, 1990 at the opening of the Synod of Bishops on priestly formation.
Papal and Magisterial Documents on the Priesthood
- Amantissimi Redemptoris
- On Priests And The Care Of Souls – Encyclical of Bl. Pope Pius IX on May 3, 1858
- Haerent Animo
- To The Catholic Clergy On Priestly Sanctity – Apostolic Exhortation of Pope St. Pius X on August 4, 1908
- Ad Catholici Sacerdotii
- On the Catholic Priesthood – Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on Dec 20, 1935
- Menti Nostrae
- On the Development of Holiness in Priestly Life – Apostolic Exhortation To The Clergy Of The Entire World of Pope Pius XII on Sept. 23, 1950
- Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia
- On St. John Vianney and the Priesthood – Encyclical of Bl. Pope John XXIII on Aug 1, 1959
- Presbyterorum Ordinis
- Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests of Second Vatican Council on December 7, 1965
- Sacerdotalis Caelibatus
- On The Celibacy of the Priest – Encyclical of Pope Paul VI on June 24, 1967
- Pastores Dabo Vobis
- “On the Formation of Priests in the Circumstances of the Present Day” – Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II on March 25, 1992
- Directory On The Ministry And Life Of Priests
- Congregation for the Clergy on March 31, 1994
- The Priest and Confession
- Excerpt, Apostolic Exhortation “Reconciliatio et Paenitentia”, Pope John Paul II on Feb. 12, 1984.
- “The Priest, Pastor and Leader of the Parish Community”
- Congregation for the Clergy on Aug. 4, 2002