The laity urged to pray for their priests

His Eminence Soter Cardinal Fernandez was the presider at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 23, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is also the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.

Jul 14, 2017

By Bernard Anthony
His Eminence Soter Cardinal Fernandez was the presider at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 23, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is also the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.

The morning Mass was concelebrated by parish priest Fr Edwin Peter, Msgr Daniel Lim, Fr Christopher W. Soosaipillai, Fr Vincent Thomas, Fr Eugene Benedict, Fr A. Amalanathan and Fr Edward Soosai.

St John Paul II established that on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Universal Church would observe the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.

The church was packed despite it being a working day, with many of the faithful coming from far and near to witness His Eminence presiding at the feastday of the parish and to pray for their priests.

In his homily, Cardinal Soter touched on a variety of issues. He informed the faithful that, in marking the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, they (our priests) too, must be aware that they are also disciples of Christ, disciples of hope and exhorted them to go forth and be Christ’s witnesses and to share the Gospel with others.

The Cardinal also said that the Church also celebrates the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. He urged the laity to pray for their priests. “Pray for us, that we are people of God’s instruments, to bring the sheep of His flock with the guidance of our Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Sacred Heart is humble and gentle and invites us to lay our burden on His shoulder.”

His Eminence told the assembly and the priests present that during the ordination of priesthood, or in the Rite of Ordination to the Priesthood, the Archbishop (or Bishop) will ask the candidates, “Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?” and the candidates respond, “I do.” Cardinal Fernandez reiterated that priests must be obedient to their Archbishop. They do this for the good of the local Church and move wherever the Archbishop assigns them.

Cardinal Fernandez also spoke about the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC). He said that it was established in 1976 and urged all to be involved and to participate in their respective BECs. He said that we have to reach out to our BECs in our own parish. “Sometimes parishioners attend Mass in Little Sisters of the Poor in Cheras (St Francis Xavier, Home For the Aged), we welcome them, but not on Sundays. On Sundays, you must attend Mass in your own parish and be with your family of God to bring unity, peace and live in spirituality.”

After the celebration, Fr Edwin thanked His Eminence and all priests present. Lunch was served in the courtyard of the parish.

It was a memorable day for many as they mingled with the Cardinal and the priests. The Cardinal was also seen speaking to some of the parish youths.

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