Cardinal Napier’s Warning to Priests and Are We Wandering From the Proper Mass?
Denis Ekwerike – Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban has called on priests to read the signs which may indicate that the spirit of their priestly vocation is gravely endangered, so as to consciously work for a revival.
Priests and deacons, the cardinal said at the annual Chrism Mass, receive the Holy Spirit at ordination to give them strength and the focus to function as servants to the people of God.
He noted that the priest who is truly alive burns with zeal for the service of the Lord while striving daily for a deeper union with Christ.
Cardinal Napier advised priests to watch out for signs that might indicate that this zeal is flagging.
These are the Signs
“You need to watch out for: drifting away from the Eucharist; giving up on the Divine Office; not seeing that you need confession; missing priests’ meetings and recollection; overemphasis on socialising; the overuse of alcohol; and, worst of all, adopting the standard and way of thinking of the world,” he told priests.
“It is when priests start speaking about the Eucharist that they become noticeably energised and upbeat,” the cardinal said.
He challenged priests not just to hide under the inherent holiness of the sacraments they celebrate in the name of the Church but to become like Christ.
“The priest is more than a presider, more than a social activist,” Cardinal Napier said.
“He is one who offers himself sacramentally in the Eucharist and to the extent that Christ is in him. Holiness for the priest begins when he becomes the sacrifice that he offers.”
The cardinal also enjoined the faithful to equally see themselves as servants called to discharge designated roles in their families.
Are We Wandering From the Proper Mass?
Deacon Alex Niven, Johannesburg – I love being a Roman Catholic. In the midst of the stormy seasons we find ourselves in, one of the mainstays that has always given me confidence was our universality.
And now, having participated at Mass in various local churches, it is clear we are wandering — and dangerously so.
The General Instruction on the Roman Missal is being increasingly adulterated by our priests, with often as many as ten and more variations.
I would like to continue being a Roman Catholic — not a South African Catholic, not a Gauteng Catholic, nor a Bryanston Catholic.
Please keep the faith.