This weekend is priesthood Sunday. It is an opportunity for the Roman Catholic Church to pray and recognize the ministerial priesthood. The priesthood in America faces great challenges such as an aging clergy and decline in the number of vocations, as well as, a declining number of priesthood ordinations that is not making up the difference with retiring or dying priests. Some priests are running two, three, and even four parishes as a pastor and in some cases do not have an associate pastor to help them. Some priests have additional responsibilities in their diocese, and still run a parish. The priests need the prayers and support of the faithful. Prayers are needed for the blessings of a priests’ ministry, and that the priest work to maintain their spirituality and their health. The priest celebrates Weekend Masses, Daily Masses, Funeral Masses, Wedding Masses, offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick at any time of the day. The priest also offers the Sacrament of Baptism for infants and adults. The priest is also a Pastoral Counselor to the faithful and is also a Spiritual Director for those in need. The priests are also human beings with personal struggles and feelings just like the faithful. Priests are not perfect like Jesus’ first twelve Apostles, but strive to serve to the best of their abilities with the challenges of their ministerial duties. I have been a priest for 14 years since 2002, and St. James Church is my seventh overall parish assignment and currently my third as Pastor. It has been and amazing, interesting, and challenging life’s journey. Please pray for the priests and please pray for me. May my priesthood and my brother priests’ ministry bring the Lord Jesus to those in need, and that we persevere in the vocation that the Lord has called us to serve in His Name.
Rev. David Edwards
Pastor, St. James Catholic Church