How to build a better priest

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When I was preparing for ministry, one of the final projects we had to do was to develop some imagery for our ministry. For those of us preparing for priesthood, we needed an image for this. My preferred images where the priest as “consistent walker” and the priest as “lyricist”. We need to rediscover the passion for priesthood that does not elevate on a pedestal or create clericalism but conveys the passion of this great vocation. Read this excerpt from US Catholic and then read the rest.

“For too long we’ve had a preferential option for mediocrity in the priesthood,” laments Father Robert Barron, assistant professor of systematic theology at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. “Teilhard de Chardin said the priest calls down fire on the earth,” says Barron. That’s a far cry from “organizer of ministries,” which is one of the dull-as-dishwater descriptions Barron remembers from his seminarian days. “Who’s going to be lit on fire by a term like that?” he fumes.

Instead of addressing any of the more controversial methods to change the priesthood, such as ordaining women or married people, Barron focuses on rebuilding the unique and indispensable role of the priest that has been lost in recent years. “I want to make the priesthood as exciting as being a brain surgeon, and as difficult and inspiring.”