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Why I Am a Priest: Thirty Success Stories [Paperback]

By Lawrence Boadt (Editor) & Michael J. Hunt (Editor)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   138
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2000
Publisher   Paulist Press
ISBN  0809139103  
EAN  9780809139101  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
If someone says, "I want to be a doctor" or "I want to be a teacher," we understand them, even if not doctors or teachers ourselves. But if someone says, "I want to be a priest," we feel transported to foreign, even mystical territory. In this fascinating collection, priests explain why they became priests and why they're still active today. Their answers help lower the veil of mystery around the vocation and make it more real and understandable. With essays by Walter Burghardt, George Higgins, Frank McNulty, Eugene La Verdiere, and others, the collection includes both "born" priests and those who came late to the calling. Their "jobs" range from missionary to administrator, canon lawyer to spiritual director, chaplain to theologian. Each essay candidly reveals as much about the state of the priesthood as about the individual. Together they provide an honest look at the vocation's contemporary problems, such as the shortage of priests, social justice, issues of leadership, the changing role of the laity, and more. All clergy and religious, seminarians, spiritual directors, vocation directors, and high school guidance counselors will find this title very useful. It's also interesting reading for lay people simply curious about the priesthood.

Publishers Description
A collection of essays by priests who are content in their vocation.

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More About Lawrence Boadt & Michael J. Hunt

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lawernce Boadt is a scholar of Biblical literature living in the U.K.
Bishop Desmond Tutu is a clergyman and political activist living in South Africa.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
An Upbeat Look At Priesthood  Feb 15, 2006
WHY I AM A PRIEST is a collection of thirty essays by a variety of priests and bishops explaining why they enjoy their vocation. Most of the priests included in the book are parish priests, though a variety of other ministries are included. The essays themselves do not look at critical issues facing the priesthood nor do we find priests who are in crisis, but the purpose of the book is not to reform the priesthood or to point out its weaknesses but rather to show how some well known priests as well as some who are known only to their parishioners are doing effective work and still find satisfaction in their call from God to serve God's people.

The book itself was fist published prior to the scandals that have been reported in the press in the past few years, but it is my guess that of the authors were asked to write again why they enjoy being priests, the events of the past few years would not be ignored, but the love of the call and the dedication to the people they serve would still be just as real.
Blessed success...  Jul 2, 2004
In a world in which it seems there are few good words for Catholic priests today, this book is a rare find. The vast majority of priests serving in the church are faithful and committed men whose primary goal is to bring the grace of God and the gospel message to the people in their congregations as well as those who have slipped away.

Editors Lawrence Boadt, CSP and Michael Hunt, CSP have gathered together testimony from thirty priests around North America. These short pieces (only a few are longer than five pages in a small-format book) are reflective; in fact, for those in the clergy or thinking about a clerical vocation, these are meditative pieces to consider, a help in testing vocation. The writing quality, it must be admitted, varies tremendously from writer to writer, as some of these priests are not professional (or even frequent amateur) writers, and it is a tribute to the editors that they left the voices distinct and occasionally unpolished.

As Boadt says in his introduction, in this book the writers explore their sense of vocation and life in the church, but none holds the illusion that the priesthood makes one a perfect or sinless or more blessed person -- sometimes it is quite the opposite. There is an honesty here in the struggles to remain faithful in the face of stresses from both within and outside of the church.

Anthony Pilla's article, the first in the collection, is written from the perspective of a bishop who seeks vocations, but also seeks to educate those who would consider the calling as to what they are really getting into. Priests do not merely serve the church, Pilla states, but indeed provide life to the church. Donald Cozzens (author of 'The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest') writes as one who regularly meets (as part of his job) with those who leave the priesthood -- few leave in bad faith, and most are striving to maintain integrity with their own beliefs, according to Cozzens. However, this experience caused Cozzens to reflect on why he stays in the priesthood. This is a creative use of his position, and his essay is among the better in the collection.

This is a book I carry with me in my book bag most of the time (I have had there for several years, since I first bought it four years ago), and find it a frequent companion as I work through my own struggles as a priest and chaplain, alas without the support of a church. The idea of working alone and in loneliness is an increasing one for clergy of all denominations, and this is something that makes this a worthwhile text for ministers outside the Roman hierarchy, too.

Many Faithful Priests Remain  Mar 20, 2002
30 American men wrote short synopses on the reasons that they are Priests and why they have remained in the Priesthood. Their 'callings' varied. Some knew they wanted to be a Priest from a very early age while others didn't know until their 30's and 40's. They come from various backgrounds bringing with them their individual talents. The challenges they face are as unique as each individual Priest.

They all experienced the second Vatican Council at some point in their career. The book aptly demonstrates the various ways in which the Council has affected their Priestly ministry.

The vignettes presented in the book show that the missions and commitments of these 30 Priests are as diverse as the people they love and serve. They belong to a variety of Religious and Priestly Orders. Their Priestly activites involve parishes, universities, foreign countries, national and local church councils, publishing houses, seminaries, catholic newspapers, armed services, labor, and elementary and high schools. They are called in their witness to Christ as writers, teachers, authors, missionaries, professors, leaders, parish and diocesan ministries, pastors, administrators, editors, canon lawyers, columnists, labor mediators, chaplains, campus ministers, spiritual directors, lecturers and Bishops.

What struck me the most was the common agreement among them of their love for Jesus, the Eucharist, the Pope and the People of God. It is especially for the people, the laity-you and me, that they remain.

There are some surprising answers in this book. Don't miss the opportunity to read it! It presents an excellent overall view of the Priestly life and challenges. As a lay person, this book really opened my eyes to the dedication of our Priests. It may even be a book you will want to read more than once.

The call of God  Dec 6, 2000
Are you thinking of becoming a priest? Have you bought into the notion that priests of the Catholic faith are unhappy and not content? Well, this book is for you. The book is a short, quick read and not for those looking for an academic examination of the priesthood. Instead, this is for the everyday reader and in many ways it touches ones heart. Thirty faithful men have written their reasons for becoming and remaining a priest. They are from dioceses all around the country. Even with their diverse backgrounds they all seem to have a common thread throughout their stories--God called them. Many of their stories describe that they are called and sustained by God Himself. After years and years of ministry they each have come to the conclusion that God called them the priesthood! This book is greatly encouraging for those discerning the priesthood and should be especially recommended to high school youth. This would also be a great gift for priests themselves as I think it would inspire thoughtful reflection on their own calling and entrance into the priesthood. It could be a springboard for greater renewal and contemplation of what God has done in their life. Additionally, I pray that this book would help change the preception of priests by many laity and secular. Many priests are thankful for their calling and would make the decision again. They are happy!

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