In this year for priests, we remember the men who give of themselves completely to build up the Body of Christ and to lead us to our Head Who is Christ. But priests are human too, and they struggle. Some struggle mightily.
Two of my classmates are struggling. I won’t name names or go into much detail, but these are men who need your prayers. One was ordained a deacon a few years ago. Shortly thereafter, he left the diocese for which he was studying and has not been in communication with them. I’ve tried to contact him to no avail. This man had his doubts throughout seminary, but took some time off and refocused on his vocation. Everything seemed to be well for some time, and then he vanished. Please pray for him.
Another situation, perhaps even more tragic, involves perhaps the brightest person in my class. He had excelled at everything he attempted academically and rose to the heights of his profession. He entered the seminary and, for a time, was applying to the Dominicans while I applied. It was always a good time to have him around. He was sent off to study, did well in his graduate program, was ordained a deacon and then a priest. And after what I’m guessing to be a year of ordination, he vanished. A priest friend of mine caught up with him. He was studying in a PhD program, pursuing further studies in his original MA concentration area (he had a BA, MA, JD, PhL, STB, and perhaps other degrees besides). I attempted to make contact with him, but have not heard back. Unfortunately, his correspondence with this priest friend of mine indicated that he had left the Church entirely and did not want to communicate with those who were in it.
These men need your prayers. Despite their actions, they have been given an indelible mark on their souls. They are ordained through the ministry of the Church for God’s work in the world. And somewhere, deep down, they feel the tug of conscience trying to right the wrong. Please pray for them today and keep them in your prayers through these coming months. The Year for Priests should be for all priests, even those who have strayed and are lost. It might even be especially for them, that they may find the peace and forgiveness that Christ offers to all and that only He can give.