The Mission of the Priest Is Irreplaceable

The Christian vocation is always a renewal of this personal friendship with Jesus Christ, which gives full meaning to our lives and makes us open to the Kingdom of God. 
God continues to call priests. The Church lives on this friendship, nourished by the Word and by the Sacraments, holy realities entrusted especially to the ministry of Bishops, Priests and Deacons, consecrated by the Sacrament of Orders. For this reason... the priest's mission is irreplaceable, and even if in some regions a scarcity of clergy is being recorded, we must never doubt that God continues to call boys, young men and adults to leave everything to dedicate themselves totally to preaching the Gospel and to the pastoral ministry. Another special form of the following of Christ is the vocation to the consecrated life, which is expressed in living a poor, chaste and obedient existence totally dedicated to God in contemplation and in prayer and at the service of others, especially the lowly and poor. Moreover, let us not forget that Christian marriage is in all respects a vocation to holiness, and that the example of holy parents is the first favorable condition for the flourishing of priestly and religious vocations.

Pope Benedict XVI, REGINA CÆLI, May 7, 2006

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