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Pope John Paul II: Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination
Pope John Paul II
Doubleday, New York, 1996
Opening paragraph:

I have vivid memories of the joyful meeting held in the Vatican last autumn 927 October 1995), under the auspices of the Congregation for the Clergy, to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Councilís Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis. In the festive atmosphere of that gathering a number of priests spoke about their vocation, and I gave my own testimony. It seemed good and worthwhile that, among priests, in the presence of the people of God, this kind of mutual encouragement should be given.

I. At the beginning . . . the mystery! The first signs of my vocation. Studies at the Jagiellonian University. The outbreak of the Second World War. The theater of the living word.

II. My decision to enter the seminary. Holidays as a seminarian. Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha.

III. Influences on my vocation. Family. The Solvay plant. Debniki parish: the Salesians. The Carmelite Fathers. Father Kazimierz Figlewicz, The "Marian thread." Brother Saint Albert. The experience of the war. The sacrifice made by Polish priests. Goodness experienced amid the harshness of war.

IV. A priest! Remembering a brother in the priestly vocation. Veni, Creator Spiritus! The floor. My first Mass. Among the People of God.

V. Rome. "Learning Rome." Pastoral perspectives. The European horizon. In the midst of immigrants. The figure of Saint John Mary Vianney. Heartfelt gratitude. My return to Poland.

VI. Niegowic: a country priest. At Saint Florianís in Cracow. Scholarly work.

VII. To the Church in Poland, thank you! The presbyterate of Cracow. The gift of lay people.

VIII. Who is the priest? Admirabile commercium! The priest and the Eucharist. In persona Christi. Mysterium fidei. Christ, Priest and Victim.

IX. Being a priest today. Humanityís profound expectations. A minister of mercy. A man n contact with God. Called to holiness. Cura animarum. A man of the word. Scholarly study. Dialogue with contemporary thought.

X. To my brothers in the priesthood. Pupilla oculi. Deo gratias!

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