Apostles of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim

I had an email from a priest today who told me about a new initiative to build up diocesan priests in their lives and ministry.  Their new initiative, which has the approval of Card. George in Chicago, is called The Apostles of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim.

I took a look at their site and visited their blog.  I found this interesting bit:

Realizing that parish life for diocesan priests can become fragmented and isolated, we strive to live a common life in shared charity for the good of our priestly apostolate. Our common life, which allows flexibility to accommodate itself to the life of a parish priest, entails the following:

  1. Morning and Evening Prayer (Liturgy of the Hours) in common
  2. One-half hour morning and evening meditation in common
  3. At least one meal daily together
  4. A weekly morning of study in the areas of theology or philosophy, with a specific focus on papal teachings and St. Thomas Aquinas

I hope they get a little traction.

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14 Responses to Apostles of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim

  1. Jason Keener says:

    Great new initiative. It’s interesting how all of the best new initiatives are basically just a return to what were once common practices in the Catholic Church. Here are some aims of the Apostles listed in their mission statement:

    “1.Reverently offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms, thus communicating the beauty and nobility of the Sacred Liturgy.

    2.Zealously preaching and teaching in order to extend Christ’s universal Kingship.

    3.Fostering sanctification of the family through the sacramental life and consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

    4.Forming men in their vocation to natural and spiritual fatherhood, including priestly vocations, through devotion to St. Joseph.”

  2. Rob Cartusciello says:

    What a lovely idea. A common life united by dedication to the Church’s teachings & liturgy.

    This will work.

  3. TJerome says:

    Sounds like a great idea. Priests need socialization and companionship like all human beings. And this initiative sounds like a very healthy one, both emotionally and spiritually. Kudos!

  4. mdillon says:

    For years I have been telling my friends that our diocesan priest need something like this. It is long over due.

  5. Random Friar says:

    I pray it gets a *lot* of traction! The life of a diocesan, especially now, is often a lonely, difficult one in the midst of thousands of people, and they still manage to present Christ.

    I may be a Dominican, but I salute the diocesans. Those guys are made of sterner stuff!

  6. irishgirl says:

    This sounds wonderful! Our priests need something like this!

  7. lmgilbert says:

    It’s a great idea being implemented by two wonderful priests. They are very solid men, former pastors from the Diocese of Peoria who came up to the Chicagoland area to be in a more urban setting to minister to more people. We were very fortunate to have them as assistant priests at St. John Vianney Parish in Northlake, but I see they have followed Fr. Fanelli to St. Thomas More’s on the south side of Chicago, in a parish either adjacent to St. Sabina’s or very close to it. May the Lord prosper and bless them.

  8. ray from mn says:

    There is a group of priests organized as the Companions of Christ in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Some of them live together.

  9. mrsmontoya says:

    I think first of the obstacles to this, which are mostly geographic. When parishes are spread so far apart, it will be difficult and costly to have all priests together (physically) for a meal.

    So: suggested solution: regional meeting places with video-conferencing abilities and a BIG screen at each location. A few priests can join for the meal at each location and all dial in to common video conference.

    There are regions where parishes are so spread apart that actual presence is a rare blessing. But let’s put our high technology to good use!

  10. basilorat says:

    They are rather suspect. Verbum sapientiae sufficens est. Canonical cover for priests who wish to do their own thing.

  11. Faith says:

    Ah….sound like the life a priest in a religious order lives.
    Someone once expressed the thought of instead of closing churches to save money, how about closing rectories. The priests belonging to various parishes should all live in one rectory. Then they could pray and eat in common. Yes, they’d have to drive to their respective parishes, So? Don’t the laity have to drive to work? Isn’t it a waste to have these big parish rectories housing one priest?

  12. FrCamp says:

    To basilorat and mrsmontoya from Fr. Campbell:

    We are not priests who are wanting to “do our own thing” under cover of whatever. We see the need for, and benefit of, a life of shared charity in which, among other things, we pray together daily (one half hour of meditation together twice daily, along with Morning & Evening Prayer/Lauds & Vespers), weekly study (usually of St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa,” unless there is a new papal encyclical which we then read), two hours of manual labor per week (usually outside/garden work, which is a manly activity, good for body & soul), a daily meal in common, and a monthly morning of recollection for priests in the area followed by lunch to build priestly fraternity.

    Cardinal George read our statutes and thought our society was an excellent model for diocesan priests, and something much needed in our day. Many seminarians have read our states as well and are attracted to the way of priestly life we set forth.

    As far as our life in common posing obstacles in light of the shortage of priests and geographic realities, our idea is not to have many priests (15-20) in one house or rectory, like an oratory; rather, it is to have at least two priests together in a parish – or three or four, depending on the need/size of the parish – so that they may share the common life. This fits the needs of the Church today, whether in the city or in rural areas. Father Reese and I know, as we have been pastors in rural areas.

    Fr. Dwight Campbell, S.T.D.

  13. RichardT says:

    If I’ve understood the website properly, the proposal is not that member priests from all across the diocese meet together for daily prayer, meals etc., but that there would be various houses of the Apostolate across the diocese and that the priests resident in each house would meet daily for prayer and meals.

    That sounds very wise. I had thought for a while that having priests living alone must make their burdens harder to bear. Faith’s comment about having priests from several neighbouring parishes living together also sounds very sensible.

    I also heard that both the Oratorians and the SSPX require a number of priests (3 or 4?) to form a house, and prohibit member priests from living alone. I don’t know if that is true, but again it seems a sensible rule.

  14. avecrux says:

    Let us pray for the intercession of St. Pius X on his feast day today, for the success of this initiative. “To renew all things in Christ” – yes, to see renewed parish life! Brick by brick.