The Pilot – Archdiocese of Boston
November 4, 2020
By George Weigel
Father Michael McGivney’s beatification is a blessing for the organization he founded and inspired; it is also a compliment paid by the universal Church to the parish priests of the United States.
The Pandemic of 2020 has been hard on every Catholic. Eucharistic fasting for this length of time may remind us what 20th-century heroes of the faith in underground churches endured, and what 21st-century confessors in China and elsewhere endure today; and that is no bad thing. Still, it is very, very hard to be the Catholic Church without being a vibrantly eucharistic Church. That’s true for everyone. The people of the Church should realize that it’s especially true for priests.
Priests, who live out their priesthood as the Catholic Church, understand that unique vocation — as an icon of the eternal priesthood of Jesus Christ, the Church’s spouse — and miss their eucharistic congregations terribly. They have dedicated their lives to nourishing the flock, and to be unable to do so as they did eight months ago is a constant sorrow. Pastors are also bearing heavier financial burdens these days as donations shrink. Then, there are the serious challenges involved in keeping parochial schools afloat under today’s public health circumstances. No man entering the seminary after the Long Lent of the 2002 and the sexual abuse crisis could imagine he was embracing an easy life; but no one expected this.
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