Presbyterorum Ordinis 18-21: Aids to the Life of Priests

That’s what part three (consisting of sections 18-21) is entitled.

First, on aids to encourage the spiritual life … priests share the celebration of the Eucharist, Word and Sacrament, with the laity.

  1. They should avail themselves of the sacraments of Eucharist and Penance often.
  2. Spiritual reading is mentioned next.
  3. Then devotion to the Blessed Mother.
  4. Then Eucharistic veneration
  5. Retreats
  6. Spiritual direction

In that order.

Priests are to fervently pray that God will grant them the spirit of true adoration whereby they themselves, along with the people committed to them, may intimately unite themselves with Christ …

Section 19 deals with “(s)tudy and pastoral knowledge.” The Word of God, first, but it is equally nourished by the study of the Holy Fathers and other Doctors and monuments or tradition. Priests should be able to respond to questions posed by (people) of this age…

Bishops are said to be responsible for overseeing the continuing education of priests, especially those just a few years out of seminary.

Section 20 treats remuneration, the responsibility of the laity. Note this priority that priests “should not only be able to honorably provide for themselves but also themselves be provided with some means of helping the needy. For the ministry to the poor has always been held in great honor in the Church from its beginnings.”

PO 21 suggests a form of “social security” for priests.

So it is supremely fitting, at least in regions where the support of the clergy completely or largely depends on the offerings of the faithful, that their offerings for this purpose be collected by a particular diocesan institution, which the bishop administers with the help of priests and, when useful, of (laypeople) who are expert in financial matters. Further it is hoped that insofar as is possible in individual dioceses or regions there be established a common fund enabling bishops to satisfy obligations to other deserving persons and meet the needs of various dioceses. This would also enable wealthier dioceses to help the poorer, that the need of the latter might be supplemented by the abundance of the former. These common funds, even though they should be principally made up of the offerings of the faithful, also should be provided for by other duly established sources.

No denying this is a priority. I suppose I wouldn’t mind something like that on behalf of my wife and myself when we hit our seventies.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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