Still, it is nice to end the working week with some positive news.
Pray for seminarians and the newly ordained....
First, over in Perth, The Record reports that Archbishop Hickey has just ordained five new priests for the diocese. That brings his total number of ordinations performed, I assume in part due to that non-diocesan seminary over there, to a very impressive 95.
Secondly, here in Canberra, Archbishop Coleridge's Lenten pastoral letter relates that the number of seminarians for this diocese is up to ten, which is strong growth and certainly looking like a much more healthy number, even if the diocese is apparently struggling to meet the costs of educating them!
And thirdly, we have a new blogger to expand the Australian debate, from a transitional deacon of the *(!)Ballarat diocese. The Blog of a Country Deacon is looking like very promising reading indeed (but don't worry A Priest Down Under, I for one, and I'm sure many others, will continue to look forward to your excellent contributions)!
So please, do pray for all those men newly ordained, those studying for the priesthood, transitioning thereto, or actively ministering!
And since it is a Lenten Friday
Don't forget that today is a day of abstinence. From Cardinal Pell's Lent message:
"The Fridays of Lent are days of required abstinence, meaning meat, and soups or gravies made of meat, are not permitted. Abstinence is required of those age 14 and older."
You might consider offering your prayers and abstinence today also especially for the support and conversion of those of our shepherds in trouble morally, theologically, spiritually, psychologically or all of the above. And for assorted fellow travellers and 'useful idiots'.
I was meditating on Psalm 73 yesterday, and came across this particularly apposite commentary on it by some prescient words from Fr Pius Pasch:
"'The sanctuary defiled': The destruction of the temple was one of the saddest phases of Jewish history, and pre-figured both the death of Christ on the Cross, and in these latter days the destruction of our churches by the enemy within. In the midst of the Church's apparent destruction, its humiliation by enemies who pretend to be our shepherds, we cry out in our impatience that God will put a stop to this madness. But we never lose our trust in God. These verses remind us not to lose faith―God is our powerful Saviour."