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Shepherds of Christ

A Spirituality Newsletter for Priests



Chief Shepherd of the Flock

Christ and the World

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; this is because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. (Jn 10:11-151)

Yes, the Good Shepherd has laid down His life for us. Through His brutal death on the cross and His glorious resurrection, Jesus has given us a new life. Indeed, He has established a new world order. He has drawn all things to Himself. St. Paul speaks eloquently concerning this in his Letter to the Colossians:

He is the image of the unseen God
and the first-born of all creation,
for in him were created
all things in heaven and on earth:
everything visible and everything invisible,
Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers—
all things were created through him and for him.
Before anything was created, he existed,
and he holds all things in unity.
Now the Church is his body,
he is its head.
As he is the Beginning,
he was first to be born from the dead,
so that he should be first in every way;
because God wanted all perfection
to be found in him,
and all things to be reconciled through him and for him,
everything in heaven and everything on earth,
when he made peace
by his death on the cross. (Col. 1:15-20).

Pope John Paul II also reminds us of the cosmic dimension of Christ’s redemptive Incarnation: "The Incarnation of God the Son signifies the taking up into unity with God not only of human nature, but in this human nature, in a sense, of everything that is ‘flesh’: the whole of humanity, the entire visible and material world. The Incarnation, then, also has a cosmic significance, a cosmic dimension. The 'first born of all creation’ becoming incarnate in the individual humanity of Christ, unites himself in some way with the entire reality of man, which is also ‘flesh’—and in this reality with all ‘flesh’, with the whole of creation."2

Yes, through His enfleshment Christ has assumed, or united to Himself, not only the human family, but the entire world order. The Christian’s attitude toward authentic human values should therefore be obvious. He or she should love the world as redeemed by Jesus more than does the non-believer. The Christian should be the first to love all authentic human values. The Christian should be the first to promote these values. Obviously, the real progress of these values can only be according to their Christic design, however hidden this design may be at times.

Yes, the Christian should be the first to be willing to suffer for the authentic progress of the human race and the entire world order. And why? We reiterate—because it all belongs to Christ.

The Christian should grieve because all is not well with the temporal order. He or she should be duly disturbed that there is so much violence, murder, social injustice, lust for power, drug peddling, pursuit of hedonism, increased alienation from God. These and other evils sadly mar the name and image of Jesus which He imprinted upon the world through His life, death, and resurrection. The Christian should grieve because the cosmic face of Christ is thus so often covered by the sinful dust of the market place.

However, the market place, the temporal order, is not all evil. Far from it, it is basically good with the creative goodness of God. It’s basic goodness and beauty have been deepened by the grandeur of Jesus’ redemptive effort. There is so much good in so many human hearts, and this goodness manifests itself in so many ways.

Each Christian, grieving at the world’s evil, but rejoicing in its goodness and potential for greater good, must be inspired to action. He or she should deeply love the world because it belongs to Christ. He or she should deeply love the people who cover the face of this world, because they have been redeemed by the sacred Blood of Jesus, and are precious to our Savior to a degree we can never fully comprehend.

The love of the Christian for the human family and the world which encompasses this family must be an operative, an efficacious love. Permeated with this love, a person must be willing to do, to accomplish, and, in rare cases, to die for the cause of Christ. Whatever one’s state of life—whether one is a social activist or a cloistered contemplative—this is the privilege and the responsibility of the Christian. The Christian cannot be committed to Jesus in love without concomitantly being dedicated in love to one’s neighbors and the entire God-given world order.

If the Christian is to promote the good of the world order, one must be free regarding it. The more one possesses this freedom, the more one helps promote the Christic progress of the world. We must be free so that we use the things of this world, or not use them, depending upon what God’s will directs us to. Indeed, the one involved in the affairs of the world according to God’s will is the one who helps promote the world’s true progress.

There follow various thoughts concerning Christ, the Christian, and the world.

The face stares out at us from the magazine page. It is the face of a little child, a war orphan. Hunger, loneliness, fear, physical pain—all this is revealed in the tiny features.

The child has not placed these afflictions upon herself. No, forces over which she has no control have put these severe sufferings upon such little shoulders.

As we look at the picture, what is our reaction? Do we quickly turn to another page to find more pleasant material? Do we remain basically unmoved by what we see? Do we say others are to blame, and therefore, we have no responsibility toward such children? Or are we seriously moved? Do we tell ourselves we all have a responsibility to do something so that the number of these ravaged children will decrease rather than increase?

The picture of the child is there for all of us to see. What picture of ourselves emerges from our particular kind of reaction?

Pope John Paul II makes this observation concerning today’s world: "The development of technology and the development of contemporary civilization, which is marked by the ascendency of technology, demand a proportionate development of morals and ethics. For the present, this last development seems unfortunately to be always left behind. Accordingly, in spite of the marvel of this progress, in which it is difficult not to see also authentic signs of man’s greatness, signs that in their creative seeds are revealed to us in the pages of the book of Genesis, as early as where it describes man’s creation, this progress cannot fail to give rise to disquiet on many counts. The first reason for disquiet concerns the essential and fundamental question: Does this progress, which has man for its author and promoter, make human life on earth ‘more human’ in every aspect of that life? Does it make it more ‘worthy of man’? There can be no doubt that in various aspects it does. But the question keeps coming back with regard to what is more essential: whether in the context of this progress man, as man, is becoming truly better, that is to say more mature spiritually, more aware of the dignity of his humanity, more responsible, more open to others, especially the neediest and the weakest, and readier to give and to aid all."3

Here is another observation of Pope John Paul II concerning our present-day world: "A disconcerting conclusion about the most recent period should serve to enlighten us: side by side with the miseries of under development, themselves unacceptable, we find ourselves up against a form of superdevelopment, equally inadmissible, because like the former it is contrary to what is good and to true happiness. This superdevelopment, which consists in an excessive availability of every kind of material goods for the benefit of certain social groups, easily makes people slaves of ‘possession’ and of immediate gratification, with no other horizon than the multiplication or continual replacement of the things already owned with others still better. This is the so-called civilization of ‘consumption’ or ‘consumerism’, which involves so much ‘throwing-away’ and ‘waste’. An object already owned but now superseded by something better is discarded, with no thought of its possible lasting value in itself, nor of some other human being who is poorer.

"All of us experience firsthand the sad effects of this blind submission to pure consumerism: in the first place a crass materialism, and at the same time a radical dissatisfaction, because one quickly learns—unless one is shielded from the flood of publicity and the ceaseless and tempting offers of products—that the more one possesses the more one wants, while deeper aspirations remain unsatisfied and perhaps even stifled."4

Vatican II reminds us that Christ in His paschal mystery has entered into the world’s history, has taken this history to Himself, and has summarized it:

"For God’s Word, through whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh and dwelt on the earth of men. Thus He entered the world’s history as a perfect man, taking that history up into Himself and summarizing it. He Himself revealed to us that ‘God is love’ (l Jn 4:8). At the same time He taught us that the new command of love was the basic law of human perfection and hence of the world’s transformation.

"To those, therefore, who believe in divine love, He gives assurance that the way of divine love lies open to all men and that the effort to establish a universal brotherhood is not a hopeless one. He cautions them at the same time that this love is not something to be reserved for important matters, but must be pursued chiefly in the ordinary circumstances of life.

"Undergoing death itself for all of us sinners, He taught us by example that we too must shoulder that cross which the world and the flesh inflict upon those who search after peace and justice. Appointed Lord by His resurrection and given plenary power in heaven and on earth, Christ is now at work in the hearts of men through the energy of His Spirit. He arouses not only a desire for the age to come, but, by that very fact, He animates, purifies, and strengthens those noble longings too by which the human family strives to make its life more human and to render the whole earth submissive to this goal.

"Now, the gifts of the Spirit are diverse. He calls some to give clear witness to the desire for a heavenly home and to keep that desire green among the human family. He summons others to dedicate themselves to the earthly service of men and to make ready the material of the celestial realm by this ministry of theirs. Yet He frees all of them so that by putting aside love of self and bringing all earthly resources into the service of human life they can devote themselves to that future when humanity itself will become an offering accepted by God.

"The Lord left behind a pledge of this hope and strength for life’s journey in that sacrament of faith where natural elements refined by man are changed into His glorified Body and Blood, providing a meal of brotherly solidarity and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet."5

Our Life in Christ

Pope Paul VI speaks to us about our life in Christ: "One could well meditate the ‘distinctive mark’ imprinted on the Christian; it is a seal superimposed on the divine image already naturally outlined in the soul of rational man, giving him with ever-increasing clearness the face of Christ, which the face of the Christian becomes when stamped with this mystic impression.

"This is a stupendous anthropology, often too little realized in the conception of man become Christian. Indeed, today the tendency to secularization, or to neglect of religious values and duties, leads to disregard of the Christian physiognomy molded by the sacramental character, so that it often becomes masked (for it cannot be erased) by a profane appearance.

This very nearly results in a return to a purely natural or even pagan aspect, the fact being forgotten that the term ‘Christian’ is not simply nominal, but real, involving entrance into the life of Christ, a decisive act for whoever follows Him, committing him utterly—if he does not want to betray the honour of his title—to fidelity, danger, and testimony (Acts 11,26; l Pet 4, 16).6

Here are certain stanzas from one of the poems of St. Therese of Lisieux, who has recently been declared to be a doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II:

It’s to you alone Jesus, that I’m attached.
It’s into your arms that I run and hide.
I want to love you like a little child.
I want to fight like a brave warrior.
Like a child full of little attentions,
Lord, I want to overwhelm you with caresses,
And in the field of my apostolate,
Like a warrior I throw myself into the fight!…

Your heart that preserves and restores innocence
Won’t betray my trust!
In you, Lord, rests my hope.
After this exile, I’ll go to see you in Heaven…
When in my heart the storm arises,
To you, Jesus, I lift up my head.
In your merciful look,
I read: "Child, for you I made the Heavens".

I know well, my sighs and tears
are before you, all radiant with charms,
The seraphim in Heaven form your court,
And yet you beg for my love!…

You want my heart, Jesus, I give it to you.
I surrender all my desires to you,
And those whom I love, O my Spouse, my King,
From now on I only want to love them for you.7

Here is an excerpt from a spiritual journal: "And I opened my heart, but I waited and felt suspended in mid-air for my whole desire was to embrace Him and it felt as if He did not come. I suffered and suffered and wanted only to experience Him with this outpouring of His grace. Then His grace overtook my weary soul and He dwelt in me in this heightened form. The Bridegroom made Himself known to me and then it felt as if this intensity had left, but the lingering memory of this moment when He intimately united Himself to me was implanted forever on my weary soul, as I sit and wait for that day when I will experience the fulfillment of myself existing only in Him. I long to have oneness in the Divine Master, the Bridegroom of my soul. I love you Jesus, come to me, that I may know you most intimately. Embrace my soul and fill me with your gifts. I desire to experience the deepest union with you, my Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Lamb of God. Through my union with you, My Jesus, I desire to experience the deepest union with the Father in the Holy Spirit."

And, "I rested my head on the pierced chest of my Savior. I felt His presence and put my head on His pierced wound. I see His side and I experience the wound within my own heart. His Heart was wounded by our sins, and I rest upon this wound.

"Open up the wound and go into His burning Heart. See the wound opening and enter into the great, red abyss of His fiery love. It is in the wound that I enter.

"His glorified body has this wound. It is from His pierced Heart that our life flows.

"The glorified wounds of Christ are my delight. He carried the cross. He bore the pain. He was pierced that we could live in Him!"

Fr. Edward Leen, C.S. Sp., reminds us: "It is only if we take up our crosses daily, that is, face each task that each day brings with courage, intent only on doing it rightly and well, striving to succeed, but not making success the condition of our efforts, doing it because it is God’s bidding, and not because it holds out a prospect of ministering to our egoism—it is only on this condition that our life will produce its transforming effect on us, and make us like to Jesus Christ…"8

God’s Will as Strength of Our Wills

St. Catherine of Siena, doctor of the Church, gives us these inspiring words on the human will:

I acknowledge, eternal God;
I acknowledge, eternal God, high eternal Trinity,
that you see me and know me.
I have seen this in your light…
I see too
that you saw that perverse law in us
that is always ready to rebel against your will,
and you saw
that we would often follow that law (cf. Rom 7:22-23).
Truly I see
that you saw the weakness of this human nature of ours,
how weak and frail and poor it is.
This is why,
supreme provider
who have provided for your creature in everything,
and best of helpers
who have given us help for every need—
this is why you gave us
the strong citadel of our will
as a partner for this weakness of our flesh.
For our will is so strong
that neither the devil nor any other creature
can conquer it
unless we so choose—
unless free choice,
in whose hand this strength has been put,
consents to it.
O infinite goodness!
Where is the source of such strength
in your creature’s will?
In you,
supreme and eternal strength!
So I see
that our will shares in the strength of yours,
for out of your will
you gave us ours.9

The Holy Spirit in Our Lives

Archbishop Luis M. Martinez tells us: The true Director of souls, the intimate Master, the soul of the spiritual life, is the Holy Spirit. Without Him, as we have already said, there is no sanctity. The perfection of a soul is measured by its docility to the movement of the Spirit, by the promptitude and fidelity with which its strings produce the divine notes of the song of love. A soul is perfectly holy when the Spirit of love has taken full possession of it, when the divine Artist finds no resistance or dissonance in the strings of that living lyre, but only celestial strains coming forth from it, limpid, ardent, and delightfully harmonized."10

Mary and the Priest

Fr. Arthur Culkins, a contemporary Marian scholar, offers us these words on Mary and the priest: "If every Christian ought to see himself in the Apostle John, entrusted to Mary as her son or daughter, how much more ought priests to recognize themselves as sons of Mary, as the subject of a ‘double’ entrustment because they are successors of John by a twofold title: as disciples and as priests. This is beautifully drawn out by our Holy Father in his ‘Holy Thursday Letter to Priests’ of 1988: ‘If John at the foot of the cross somehow represents every man and woman for whom the motherhood of the Mother of God is spiritually extended, how much more does this concern each of us, who are sacramentally called to the priestly ministry of the Eucharist in the Church!’…

"Although Jesus had already entrusted every priest to his Mother from the height of the cross and the Pope has done it even hundreds of times, it is still necessary for the priest to do so himself if he would truly experience the power and the protection of the Mother of God in his life as her Divine Son intends it. Priests who have done so know the difference it makes."11

The Eucharist

Fr. David Turoldo observes: "Bread is the image of gratuitous giving. Its fragrant presence in our homes recalls the desire for a unity, the savor of tenderness, the life we would like to experience daily. The breaking of bread reveals the joy of sharing and an inner certitude that impels us to overcome difficult interior and exterior relationships. To be able to break bread every day is to hope to exist not by means of an ephemeral substance, but by means of the true substance that renders our experience of life internally free and externally faithful. To introduce into our life the spirit of the Eucharist that has been celebrated, means to place at the center of our being the mystery the Eucharist contains, as energy generating an authentic response in our way of life. ‘Eucharist’ means ‘thanksgiving.’ Our daily pilgrimage assumes, therefore, a continuity of praise, celebrated in everything that we are, make and experience, even in sufferings and contradictions."12

The Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests tells us: "It is necessary to recall the irreplaceable value that the daily celebration of the Holy Mass has for the priest… He must live it as the central moment of his day and of his daily ministry, fruit of a sincere desire and an occasion for a deep and effective encounter with Christ, and he must take the greatest care to celebrate it with intimate participation of the mind and heart."13

Scriptural Reflection

The Need for Humility.

Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up. (Jas. 4:l0).

Humility is the realization that I am a creature of God, and the living out of this truth in daily existence.

Humility is not a process of self-depreciation. It is not telling myself that I am of little worth and have little to contribute. Humility prompts me to look at my good points and my bad points. Humility also prompts me to respond with appropriate attitudes and actions.

Since humility is based on truth, it never demands that I deny my particular gifts. If I do not properly recognize these, I will not thank God properly, nor will I be in the most advantageous position for the proper use and development of my talents. I should, then, recognize the good in myself, while at the same time realizing the ultimate source of all good, God Himself.

If I am humble, I will also look at my evil side. I will admit to un-Christian attitudes and actions. Very importantly, I will also take the necessary measures to improve the situation.

Humility will also enable me to look realistically upon life in the human condition. Being humble—realizing my creaturehood—means I realize that precisely because I am human, I will experience pain. Precisely because I am exposed to the human condition not only in its pleasant aspects, but also in its dimensions of sin, suffering, and anguish, I will suffer, and sometimes because of the evil of others. Humility allows me to accept this without bitterness. Humility allows me to react properly.

Humility also assists me in realizing and implementing the fact that I am a social creature—one intended by God to help others and, in turn, one intended to be helped myself. If I am proud, I tend to go my own way. I tend to be closed in on my own selfish concerns, not attentive to the needs of my brothers and sisters in the human family. I tend to be closed in, shut off from the concern and assistance others could offer, thinking that I am strong enough, and certainly capable enough, to care for myself.

Humility also assists me to accept my fundamental self. God has created me with certain talents, with a certain fundamental temperament. Humility bids me to accept this God-intended self, while, of course, always striving to develop, improve, and mature.

Humility likewise assists me in accepting my present life-situation in so far as I can determine this is God’s here-and-now design. If I am not properly humble, I can quietly and subtly rebel regarding the present. Unsatisfied with my present situation, I fail to respond properly, neglecting present opportunities, while restlessly complaining that the present situation is not challenging enough, that it is failing to actuate a potential being wasted away on the performance of such prosaic tasks.

I do not think we easily and consistently consider humility and its various applications. This fact, however, does not lessen its necessity. It simply implies that we have to strive to become more aware of humility’s role in Christian living. Otherwise, we will never become sufficiently mature and strong Christians, Christians strong with God’s strength precisely because we are humble. In our pursuit of growth in humility, let us focus our gaze upon Jesus: "Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart…" (Mt 11:29).


Fr. John Wright, S.J., tells us: "It is frequently said that the prayer of beginners is more active and that as time goes on and prayer matures it becomes more passive. But it seems to me that we must distinguish here our attitudes and awareness from our actual activities and operations. Initially, our attitude is more active than passive. We are more conscious of doing and acting than receiving. We are more aware of what we do by way of response than of what God does in His initiative. Gradually this changes, so that we become more and more aware of His action in us, illuminating, inspiring, strengthening, encouraging, and so forth. This means, of course, that our attitude becomes more passive. But our actual activity in operation doesn’t itself become less. There is indeed a greater dependence on God’s action, and what we do is done more freely, more simply, more intensively and spontaneously. Our attention, then, is more upon God than upon ourselves, but we are actually more active in the real sense. For we see more clearly, believe more deeply, love more purely, rejoice more unselfishly…"14

Psychotherapy and God’s Compassionate Love

Patrick J. McDonald, M.S.W, a psychotherapist, tells us how he has discovered the therapeutic value of God’s compassionate love: "I have been associated with the mental health profession for thirty years. My current efforts to heal have evolved into honest and straightforward encounters with people, and that keeps my work as refreshing and challenging as when I first began.

"In my early days, I spent a great deal of time studying the masters in the field in an effort to absorb their almost magical healing techniques. They seemed to possess a special quality that fostered dramatic results where a less experienced person would accomplish nothing. Because of their personal charm, their explanations of what took place in therapeutic encounter were convincing. It was easy to identify with their power, presence and effectiveness.

"After spending years exploring the rich variety of techniques in the ever-expanding field of psychotherapy, I began to realize that the masters made their technique work primarily because they believe in their efficacy. Their technique reflected their persons, values, biases, and blind spots as well as their charisma. The structure, theoretical basis, and conceptual framework of their techniques became convincing ways to explain what took shape in their work with clients. Even then, some explanations remained at the level of pure mythology.

"Romance with techniques began to evaporate quickly as I went through several life transitions of my own. Midlife brought me to a more honest place with myself. The death of both of my parents engendered an honest compassion for the losses of others. A deepening spirituality in the face of loss brought me face-to-face with the compassionate God. Each of these difficult matters brought me back to the hard work of facing myself, an inherently less desirable task than absorbing someone else’s techniques.

"Now I keep techniques somewhere in the background, where they belong. They have their value, of course, but only as part of a disciplined effort to put the client in touch with the same compassionate love of God that touches me. At best, my person becomes a concrete sign of the reality of God’s love for those who are ready to explore it.

"A firm belief that God is the healer in all circumstances has invited me to enter into a reservoir of energy that reflects the power of divine healing. Healing has evolved into an almost effortless labor of love. Consequently, my practice of psychotherapy is now more enjoyable than when I first began the serious study of human development."15

The Need  to Be Loved

Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche communities, tells us: "For twenty-five years now I have had the privilege of living with men and women with disabilities. I have discovered that even though a person may have serious brain damage, that is not the source of his or her greatest pain. The greatest pain is rejection, the feeling that nobody really wants you ‘like that’. The feeling that you are seen as ugly, dirty, a burden, of no value. That is the pain I have discovered in the hearts of our people…

"My experience has shown that when we welcome people from this world of anguish, brokenness and depression, and when they gradually discover that they are wanted and loved as they are and that they have a place, then we witness a real transformation—I would even say ‘resurrection’. Their tense, angry, fearful, depressed body gradually becomes relaxed, peaceful and trusting. This shows through the expression on the face and through all their flesh. As they discover a sense of belonging, that they are part of a ‘family’, then the will to live begins to emerge."16

Experiencing Failure

One of the most painful sufferings we experience within the human condition is failure. The suffering is often exacerbated because we over-identify with the situation. We have linked too much of our being with the task or whatever else has prompted the failure. We tend to think, for example, that because we have failed in a particular work, we have failed as human beings. However, as much as we may have involved ourselves in the work, we are not the work itself. This is not to say that we are always blameless. We may be considerably at fault regarding the failure. On the other hand, we may be basically without culpability. Whichever the case, we must strive not to over-identify with the situation. This only increases the pain, and needlessly so.

Even though we escape the needless pain of over-identifying with the failure, there are other sufferings involved. There is very obviously the pain of the failure itself. There is also the pain of regrouping, of starting over, of getting on with the rest of life. This is not easy. But the pain involved is less than that which results from remaining mired in failure, allowing it to rob us of some of the joy which is meant to be ours. There have been, are, and will be failures of various kinds and degrees in our lives. In union with our friend, Jesus, the great consoler, let us accept the pain involved, learn from it, and continue the spiritual journey as wiser human beings.

Act of Consecration

Lord, Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, I consecrate my priestly life to Your Heart, pierced on Calvary for love of us. From Your pierced Heart the Church was born, the Church You have called me as a priest, to serve in a most special way. You reveal Your Heart as symbol of Your love in all its aspects, including Your most special love for me, whom you have chosen as your priest-companion. Help me always to pour out my life in love of God and neighbor. Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in you.

Dear Blessed Virgin Mary, I consecrate myself to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, this Heart which is symbol of your life of love. You are the Mother of my Savior. You are also my Mother. You love me with a most special love as this unique priest-son. In a return of love I give myself entirely to your motherly love and protection. You followed Jesus perfectly. You are His first and perfect disciple. Teach me to imitate you in the putting on of Christ. Be my motherly intercessor so that, through your Immaculate Heart, I may be guided to an ever closer union with the pierced Heart of Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, Who leads me to the Father in the Holy Spirit.

A Prayer for Priests

Many of the laity pray for us priests, and consistently so. Is it not also fitting that we priests pray for all our brothers in the priesthood, and consistently so? There follows a prayer that can aid us in this endeavor.

"Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, we pray that in the great love and mercy of Your Heart that You attend to all the needs of your priest-shepherds throughout the world. We ask that you draw back to your Heart all those priests who have seriously strayed from your path, that you rekindle the desire for holiness in the hearts of those priests who have become lukewarm, and that you continue to give your fervent priests the desire for the highest holiness. United with Your Heart and Mary’s Heart, we ask that you take this petition to your heavenly Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen".

The above prayer is taken from the prayer manual of Shepherds of Christ Associates, a facet of Shepherds of Christ Ministries. The associates are members of prayer groups which meet regularly to pray for all the needs of the entire human family, but most especially for priests. If you would like a copy, or copies, of this prayer manual, and, further, if you would like information on how to begin a Shepherds of Christ prayer chapter, contact us at:

Shepherds of Christ, P.O. Box 193, Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193
Phone (toll free): 1-800-211-3041
Fax: 1-513-932-6791


Dear Fr. Carter,
    A priest friend of mine has introduced me to your excellent publication, Shepherds of Christ.
    I would be pleased if you could include me in your mailing list.
    With every blessing on your special work,

Yours Sincerely,
Rev. Daniel Barr
Lifford, Ireland

Dear Fr. Carter,
    I got your newsletter, Shepherds of Christ from a Jesuit friend in Kampala. It has been a service of inspiration, not only to me, but also to those with whom I shared it. I would appreciate it if you could avail me of some of the issues.

God Bless,
Fr. Michael Canuroma Opoki
Awasa, Ethiopia

Dear Fr. Carter,
    God Bless you for your kindness in sending me the 1998, Issue Two, of your Newsletter.
    How I love to receive those copies. The priests to whom I distribute them want to thank you too as they find in your newsletter a useful spiritual guide. Even the Seminarians are appreciating your kindness. We have all to thank you prayerfully, especially at mass.
    Please thank also your Shepherds of Christ Associates for their prayers and good work. I am offering a Mass for all your intentions. God bless you all.

Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Joseph, M. Galdes, S.J.
Victoria, Gozo-Malta


  1. Scriptural quotations are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday & Co.
  2. Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem, as in The Encyclicals of John Paul II, edited with introductions by J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, No. 50. 3.
  3. Pope John Paul II, (Encyclical) Redemptor Hominis, as in The Encyclicals of John Paul II, (see above note), No. 15. 4.
  4. Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, as in The Encyclicals of John Paul II, (see note 2 above), No. 28. 2&3.
  5. The Documents of Vatican II, "Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World", America Press Edition, No. 38.
  6. The Teachings of Pope Paul VI, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, p. 125.
  7. St. Thèrèse of Lisieux, Poem 36, as in Spiritual Life, Spring 1998.
  8. Edward Leen, C.S.Sp., In the Likeness of Christ, Sheed and Ward, p. 240.
  9. From The Prayers of Catherine of Siena, Suzanne Noffke, translator, Paulist Press, as found in Catherine of Siena, Mary O’ Driscoll, O.P., editor, New City Press, Prayer 14, pp. 74-76.
  10. Archbishop Lius M. Martinez, The Sanctifier, Pauline Books and media, p. 18.
  11. Arthur Culkins, Soul Magazine, Jan. - Feb., 1995, p. 30.
  12. David Turaldo, Revelation of Love, Pauline Books and Media, p.109.
  13. Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, as in Inside the Vatican, Nov., 1994, Special Supplement, No. 49.
  14. John Wright, S.J., A Theology of Christian Prayer, Pueblo Pub., p. 101.
  15. Patrick J. Mc Donald, M.S.W., "The Power of Compassionate Love", Human Development, Vol. 19, Number One, 1998, pp. 23-24.
  16. Jean Vanier, From Brokenness to Community, Paulist Press, pp. 13 & 15.


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Shepherds of Christ

Shepherds of Christ Ministries
P.O. Box 193
Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193

Shepherds of Christ, a spirituality newsletter for priests, is published bi-monthly by Shepherds of Christ Ministries, P.O. Box 193, Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193. While distribution is free of charge to all priests in the U.S., and growing internationally, donations are still very much appreciated. Inquiries and comments are welcome, as are address changes and addresses of the newly ordained. Permission to reproduce intact is granted for non-commercial use. Editor Father Edward Carter S.J. is Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. John Weickert is President. Good Shepherd illustration is by Brother Jerome Pryor, S.J. Layout and design are by Cathy Ring. Also dedicated to the spiritual advancement of priests is a worldwide network of lay/religious prayer chapters, Shepherds of Christ Associates, headquartered at 2919 Shawhan Road, Morrow, Ohio 45152, telephone toll free 1-888-211-3041, fax 513-932-6791.

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