This Sunday is commonly known as Good Shepherd Sunday because the Gospel passage always presents Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The Collect of the Mass also builds on this theme, referring to Jesus as “the brave Shepherd.” Therefore, this Sunday is a common time to speak about vocations to the Priesthood.
Without the Priesthood, we cannot have the Holy Eucharist. And without the Holy Eucharist we will not have the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in our Tabernacle. Additionally, without priests how would we get our sins absolved and receive sanctifying grace? The priesthood is essential to us all, whether we admit it or not. And it is sad to see just how much the priesthood has been downplayed over the last sixty years.
I once heard that the Catholic Church is not fully established in a diocese until that diocese has a local presbyterate (priesthood). After 184 years of existence, our diocese still only has a handful of priests who were born and raised in Mississippi. That means only a handful of us truly understand the people and culture that we serve. This is unacceptable. Numerous young men in our parish have been and are being called to serve as a Priest of Jesus Christ. But how many have missed that call because we have become too dependent on a foreign clergy?
One thing I have heard so much of since arriving in Natchez is that we prefer “keeping it in the (Cathedral) family.” Yet, in what ways have you worked to keep the priesthood “in the family”? How have you striven to make sure our priests are locally grown and understand who we are? It is every Catholic’s duty to do so.
Fr. Scott and Fr. Mark plan to trade months in offering a weekly reflection or catechesis in our future bulletins. Be sure to check out what they have to share!.
Spiritual Leader: Fr. Scott Thomas – Group Leader: Erica Unz, DHS
September 27 – October 6, 2021
*Optional Pre Tour to Jordan: September 24 – 28, 2021
Make your way through the Holy Land to experience Him, follow in His footsteps, and see Him in the works He performed - your footsteps will become His. Celebrate votive Masses in the very places where these miraculous gifts became pages in the Gospel. See where He was back then, and feel how He is still there today!
For more information visit Father Scott's webpage.