For the past twenty-five years, Msgr. Francis Kelly has been deeply involved with the ministry of priestly formation. These experiences, he says, “have matured my convictions about priestly ministry” and in this very inspiring and affirming book he shares what he has learned through “my engagement with, and the example of, so many good men who have been called to the ministry at a challenging time.”
Today’s priesthood, he says, is both very different and intrinsically the same as it has always been—the same because all priests are called to model their lives on the example of Jesus, and different because of all the demands of the present day—from managing several parishes to finding time to pray, to ministering in a very secular culture. In each chapter—on celibacy, prayer, devotion to Mary, preaching, empowering the laity, among others—Msgr. Kelly offers a roadmap showing how priestly ministry can a deeply rewarding service to the human community—a ministry of hope! “If there is one quality needed in our fractured and insecure world today,” he says, “it is hope.”
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Priests for a New Era provides a thorough presentation of the historical and theological dimensions of the Catholic priesthood and is a welcome and valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding more profoundly what it means to be a priest.
Monsignor Francis D. Kelly, a priest of the Diocese of Worcester, MA, possesses a Doctorate in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and served in diocesan and national catechetical ministry for 25 years. Msgr. Kelly currently serves as a Canon of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.