Thursday, 2 July 2009

A Father in Christ

First time I've done two postings in a day! We had a good discussion about the Year of the Priesthood this morning at the Council of Priests. In particular, two initiatives for the Year were agreed in principle - to reorganize our Vocations promotion and direction, and secondly to hold a three-day coming-together for priests of our diocese on the changing role of the priest. While fishing around on the 'net in preparation for the meeting, I came across this picture of the new and impressive Archbishop of New York, Tim Dolan, whom readers will remember me mentioning a month or two back. Here he is greeting, I think, a new priest he has just ordained. Immediately after the laying on of hands, the moment of ordination, the bishop embraces the priest in a sign of peace and welcome. All the priests present then welcome him in similar vein. The moment of ordination is one of great joy and solemnity, but it is often tinged with a kind of wistfulness as there is now no going back, as it were. So often this embrace is a rather formal gesture, but this picture conveys, I think, a real fatherly embrace...

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