by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann
Surveys of various professional groups reveal that priests are among the happiest. The following are my top 10 reasons I love being a priest. Actually, it was difficult limiting the list to 10.
10. On Easter Sunday, the opportunity to sprinkle holy water on people and they cannot throw anything back.
9. In the morning, never having to wonder what to wear or being concerned if your clothes match.
8. Working with remarkable, faith-filled, dedicated and virtuous people.
7. Forming incredible lifelong friendships with fellow priests, religious men and women, and becoming part of hundreds of families.
6. Accompanying individuals at important moments in their lives, e.g., young people discerning a vocation, engaged couples preparing for marriage, parents seeking the baptism of a child, persons encountering God in a powerful way during a retreat experience, times of serious illness, and the death of a loved one.
5. Being not only allowed, but expected, to make time each day for prayer — becoming aware of God’s presence, experiencing his love, praising and thanking him for blessings, listening to his inspirations, entrusting challenges and burdens to him, and interceding for the needs of parishioners.
4. The frequent opportunity to break open for others the meaning, wisdom, comfort, hope and peace found in the Bible.
3. Freeing individuals from shame, guilt and discouragement by being God’s human instrument in communicating to them Our Lord’s mercy and unconditional love.
2. The opportunity to spend every moment of each day doing what I believe in by helping others experience God’s love, become friends with Jesus and discover the secret to abundant life in this world and the path to eternal life with God and his saints.
1. The privilege of being Our Lord’s instrument in making himself present to his people in the Eucharist.
If one is called, the priesthood is an amazingly blessed life. Certainly, there are significant sacrifices that are required and difficult challenges. However, the same is true in every vocation or anything worth pursuing in life. As a priest, one has the privilege of witnessing God’s miracles — his grace working in the lives of parishioners.
If you are a young man, at least 18 years old, who thinks it is possible that God is calling you to the priesthood, I urge you to register for the Quo Vadis discernment retreat beginning on Saturday evening, Dec. 19, and concluding Monday morning, Dec. 21. “Quo vadis” is Latin for: “Where are you going?”
Give yourself a break from the materialistic madness that can overtake this season and allow yourself the opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. These 40 hours could be life-changing.
If you have a son or grandson, or you know a young man that you think could be a great priest, please pass this article on to him and encourage him to make the Quo Vadis retreat. Young men interested in getting more information or registering for the Quo Vadis retreat can contact the archdiocesan vocation office at (913) 647-0303 or online at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spend time with some exceptional priests and get a chance to know our Kansas City, Kansas, seminarians. Personally, I look forward to spending some one-on-one time with each retreat participant, attempting to help each man figure out what God’s plan is for him.
There is nothing more challenging, exciting and important that you can do with your life than serving the people of God as a priest. The priesthood is the adventure of a lifetime. Priests have the opportunity to influence positively thousands of lives.
The miracle of Christmas is that the God who created the entire universe became a human being so that we could share in his life.
I am confident that if you give Our Lord 40 hours of your life by making the Quo Vadis retreat, striving to figure out what Our Lord desires you to do with your life, God will bless you in ways that you cannot imagine.