success stories

Posted May 3, 2004

Book: Stewards of Godís Mysteries: Priestly Spirituality in a Changing Church
Author: Paul J. Philibert
Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, pp. 87

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

This study of priestly spiritually at the start of a new millennium considers how priests participate in the dying and rising of the Lord through challenges and joys that are rooted in our changing culture, in the growing diversity of our Catholic world, and in the demands of their own ministry. Designed as a study text, these pages contain reflection questions for both individuals and study groups of bishops, superiors, and priests.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Agenda for Personal and Group Reflection

Questions for the Individual Priest

1. Where do I find myself caught between my own hopes and other peopleís expectations.

2. Can I see the difference between the quest for identity and an achieved identity? Does this clarification give me a better focus on my own feelings?

3. Who are my friends? Do I have someone who really knows me and whose care sees me through my self-doubts and failures?

4. Am I caught in the cycle of being always a "giver" in search of emotional rewards? Am I a workaholic? How can I learn better to "receive"?

5. How do I describe the ways that Christís universal love takes shape in me? What thoughts and words represent my heartís spontaneous movements? Do I recognize love and celibacy as practically linked in the way I live my priesthood?

6. How am I a "wounded healer"? Can I see God using the weakness in my life to gain the weak for the gospel?"

Questions for Group Reflection

1. How do we assess the morale of our local presbyterate in terms of participation in diocesan programs for priests, esprit de corps among the gathered priests, and regularity of contact for social support?

2. Does looking at the identity of the priest as"generative" shift questions about priestly identity into a wider frame of reference than we usually take? Why is that the case?

3. Does this diocese (or religious congregation) have a structure in place for mentoring the recently ordained and those coming from other cultures? Would better mentoring enhance diocesan life (or the ministries of religious institutes)? How?

4. Celibacy is linked to generativity and is expressive our friendship with Christ. Letís talk about how this really works in our lives. How do we do it?

5. What are the forces that create overwork and frustration among us? Can we share ideas, resources, and energies in ways that will make it better?

6. What work of reconciliation does our diocese need at this time ó between bishop and priests, between priests and priests, and between clergy and laity? How should we go about initiating the ministry of reconciliation?

Table of Contents:

Chapter one: Setting the Scene

Chapter two: The Cultural Context for Ordained Ministry Today

Chapter three: Christís Priesthood Lived through the Paschal Mystery

Chapter four: The Shape of Ordained Ministry Today

Chapter five: Transformation through Discipleship

Chapter six: The Practice of the Spiritual Life

Chapter seven: A Fresh Call to Renewal