12 June 2009

An excellent project for the Year of the Priesthood

By now you certainly are aware that the Holy Father will inaugurate the Year of the Priesthood on Friday, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.

Patty Mitchell, of Word Among Us Press, recently contacted me about a new book WAU will publish to help celebrate this year. She said:
In commemoration of the upcoming Year of the Priesthood, The Word Among Us
Press is planning to publish a book of stories written by priests active in all types of ministries in the church. We want stories and testimonies that speak in a personal way of a priest’s call to his ministry and how his relationship with God sustains him and his work. We also want stories that describe the joys and challenges of everyday life as a priest.

We believe that such a book would show in concrete, real-life ways that the priesthood is a noble and worthy calling that serves God and the church. We hope that the book would also raise awareness among lay Catholics of the need to encourage and support vocations in their families and parishes. Our working
title is A Priest’s Life: The Calling, the Cost, the Joy.

We plan to solicit stories from priests serving parishes as well as those serving in a variety of ministries, including missionaries and chaplains in prison, military, hospital, and campus ministries. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore has agreed to write a preface for this book. We hope to publish the book in the spring of 2010.

We would like a testimony or story of approximately 1,000 words (five typewritten pages) that answers one or two of the following questions:
  • How did you hear God call you to be a priest? How has that call deepened over the years? How has it sustained you?
  • How has your relationship with the Lord grown during your years as a priest? How do you stay close to the Lord during your busy days?
  • In what specific ways has God affirmed your call to the priesthood?
  • Share one or two real-life experiences or situations in the past that has given meaning to your vocation as a priest. (Be descriptive and concrete.)
  • Share a story of how you were able to care for someone pastorally. What
    happened and how did you see God working through you?
  • What is the one thing you most look forward to in your day as a priest?
  • What has been most challenging about advancing God’s kingdom? What has been most fulfilling?
  • Was there anything that happened in your life as priest that marked a turning point in how you approached your ministry?
  • In what ways have your brother priests encouraged and supported you?

We would be very excited if you would consider contributing to this effort with a story or witness. We will be editing each story for grammar and sentence structure, so the writing doesn’t have to be perfect, but we do want stories that are personal and compelling. If you can help advance this mission with us, we would be most grateful. And we would be happy to interview you by phone if you have a story to tell but don’t have the time to write it down. We are unable to pay you for your story, but we will give you ten free books when it is published.

If you have any questions or want to talk more about this project, please contact me at pmm@wau.org or by phone at 1-800-775-9673, extension 2109. I’d be delighted to speak to you. In order to publish this book during the Year of the Priesthood, which begins this month, we will need to have your witness or story by September 15, 2009.

Someone sent to her the story of how I was called to the priesthood and she requested permission to include it in this forthcoming book; I happily gave her permission to do so.

If you know the story of a priest and think others might be interested in reading it, why not pass this along to him or contact Ms. Mitchell?

If you haven't browsed WAU publications, you really should take a moment to do so. Last summer I called to request copies of their monthly publication to help our pilgrims with daily readings, reflections, etc. and they generously gave them to us free of charge.

No comments:

Post a Comment