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ANNUS SACERDOTALISThe Year of the Priesthood

19th June 2009 - 19th June 2010


Pope Benedict XVI has called the whole Church to celebrate a Year for Priests.

During these twelve months we, as a Church, are encouraged to pray for our priests, to show renewed support towards our priests in their ministry and to pray for more priests.

Priests are encouraged, in the words of Pope Benedict, to strive "for spiritual perfection on which, above all, the effectiveness of their ministry depends” and to highlight “the importance of the priest’s role and mission in the Church and in contemporary society”.

Priesthood: A Life open to Christ

To these ends, St Pauls has published the book Priesthood: A Life open to Christ

Priesthood: A Life Open to ChristThis book offers insights, for both ordained and lay people, into priestly life and ministry as experienced by 78 priests from around the world - from the Holy Father to one of the newest assistant priests and from the youngest to the oldest.

CroninThe book was launched in the Throne Room of Archbishop's House, Westminster on Friday 19th June, during which Canon Daniel Cronin, the compiler of the book, presented Archbishop Nichols with a copy. Speaking at the launch, Canon Cronin said: "I am totally convinced the Holy Spirit has been the instigator of this initiative .... I feel certain it will be a truly worthwhile offering thanks to all the cardinals, bishops, abbots and priests who have shared their insights into the priesthood and have very willingly written for their fellow priests, the people of God in general and those considering a call to the priesthood or religious life.


There are many books on the priesthood available. To see the selection click here.

150th Anniversary of the Death of St John Mary Vianney

CroninBooks about St John Vianney, including some of his writings, are available here.

As part of this celebration, St Pauls has published a new book on this great saint, written by Joanna Bogle.

This book tells the story of his life - and how what was once a bleak rural parish became a centre of international pilgrimage.

"Joanna Bogle’s new book on the Curé is a timely and welcome contribution towards our rediscovery of the Curé as we respond to Pope Benedict’s prophetic call for a “Year of the Priesthood”. Its greatest value, however, will be to point readers to what the Curé himself said, which, as Joanna Bogle shows, he first lived in an exemplary way in his parish." From the Preface by Mgr. Keith Barltrop.


The Way of the Cross with the Cure d'Ars

The Way of the Cross with the Cure d'ArsAt the end of a long and fruitful ministry as a parish priest, St John Vianney, the Curé of Ars, has left us no extended writings, all we have are short extracts memorised by witnesses. Mgr Keith Barltrop uses some of these extracts to help us meditate on the Way of the Cross and, in doing so, enables us to rediscover the great gift God has given us in this marvellous saint.

The colour illustrations are pictures of the 14 Stations of the Cross in St Silas Church, Kentish Town, London. These Stations were made by Sister Dorina of the Order of the Sisters of the Church at Kilburn. They were originally a dark sepia colour, but when they became discoloured they were painted by Lady Nina Somerset in 1932. Photographs © John Salmon. The illustration for the 15th Station has been constructed from photographs of the originals.


Vademecum: Meditations on the Priesthood

Vademecum: Meditations on the PriesthoodAs part of the Year of the Priesthood celebrations, ST PAULS has published a Vademecum on the priesthood.

A collection of quotations on the priesthood taken from scripture, the Fathers of the Church, Conciliar and Papal teaching and writers to the present day, to help priests and the laity reflect on the different aspects of the ordained priesthood.

Arranged for daily reading throughout the year, the readings follow no particular pattern, apart from those for Sundays, which are taken from scripture or the Catechism of the Catholic Church, thereby beginning each week from fundamental sources.

The book, available in a choice of three colours to the cover, has a ribbon marker and will make a fine gift to anyone, priest or laity, wanting to reflect on the richness of the gift of the priesthood.

"The Church in England and Wales is proud of its priests. I hope that this publication helps us to appreciate even more the great gift of the priesthood and the generosity of those who give their life in its service."

Archbishop Vincent Nichols in his foreword to the book.

Our Priests

Our PriestsStudents from selected schools within the Archdiocese of Westminster were asked to write, paint or draw something about their experiences and thoughts of priests. This book, with a Foreword by Frank Cottrell Boyce and endorsement by Bishop George Stack, contains a selection of this material and is a fitting tribute and positive affirmation of priests from young people which is at times humorous, moving, imaginative and profound, but, above all, heartfelt.

Royalties from the sale of this book will go to St Joseph’s Africa Aid, a charity whose work is to fund schools in parts of Africa.


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