For the first time in my life, I met a Catholic who did not know what Fatima was. I thought all Catholics knew of the Apparitions of Our Blessed Mother. But I thought wrong.
Today, I asked our parish priest why he did not mention the Consecration of Russia by Pope Francis, and his response was that the Archbishop was holding some prayer service for Russia and the Ukraine. I was to go see if he says anything there.
When I mentioned that this was an even we’d been waiting for since 1917, he was surprised. And telling him that it was requested by our Lady of Fatima at that time, he responded with, “What’s that?”
I was puzzled. Our priest actually had never heard of one of the most famous Apparitions in the history of the Church. More that that, he was indifferent to the importance of this Consecration and event. He made it clear that he had more important things to do than read about it, or teach it from the pulpit.
Mary’s beloved sons…
Our Lady has been asking that we pray for Her sons, the priests. Many have fallen from the Faith. Not only were far from it, but they were leading their parishioners away as well.
It didn’t impact me before. I never realized just how much they needed prayer. The request always puzzled me.
Prioritizing the requests from Heaven, teaching the faithful of the history and richness of the Faith from the pulpit or even classes, and encouraging them to participate in important prayer events is a part of a priest’s vocation. Salvation of souls and leading them to Christ cannot happen if it is on the back burner of their “To Do” lists.
If they don’t have the knowledge, they cannot pass it on. They will not pass on intellectual curiosity about the Faith if they don’t have it. If worldly obligations (such as parish council meetings, accounting issues, hiring office staff, etc.) supersede the importance of a spiritual fulfillment, then their priorities are out of balance.
I cannot judge what my parish priest’s obligations were. He did not say. But it puzzled me why the response was one that came across with such indifference.
It has been said that the busier you are, the more you need to pray. The busier they are, the more the priests need to pray. And we need to pray for them.
Pray for our priests. Pray that they be given the heart of curiosity about their Faith. And pray that they instill that thirst for knowledge about the Faith in their parishioners. May they offer the opportunities for their people to learn the Faith, and encourage them faithful to pursue such things. And may they not neglect to inform the parishioners of those opportunities that are already underway within the parish.
The door to teaching must be opened. The laity can teach, but the priest must, in his position of authority, take the lead. The people will respond when the priest leads the way.
Our Lady asked us to pray for Her beloved sons. Let us not let Her down. Her sons need our support, certainly. But more importantly, they need our prayers.
Pray for them.