Pope inspires, encourages priests

"Heavens, it was wonderful," Fr. Robert Seay says of last week’s Jubilee for Priests June 1-3 in Rome. "It was a revelation to me. I saw the universality of the Church."

Robert, Frs. Don Miller, Luis Aponte-Merced and Richard Goodin joined more than 6,000 priests and seminarians at the three-day gathering inspired by the Jubilee Year of Mercy. For Luis, "It was a moving and wonderful experience sharing with priests from all over the world and receiving the reflections on mercy from Pope Francis and concelebrating with him."

A highlight for all was the retreat for priests the Pope preached at the Papal Basilicas of Rome, appearing in person at each basilica at some point while his meditations were simulcast at the other venues. As Don wrote on Facebook, "4:00 p.m. was our turn to host the Pope in person [at St. Paul Outside the Walls]. Needless to say, the place erupted when he walked in. Now these are all priests and seminarians from around the world and we behaved like a bunch of kids at a rock concert. He is a magnetic figure."

Richard represented English-speaking American priests in greeting the Pope when he celebrated Mass for the Feast of the Sacred Heart in St. Peter’s Square. Friday night, Robert helped close the event by praying a decade of the Rosary. In his homily, the Pope called priests to follow Christ’s example of the Good Shepherd. Watch the video of the meeting from CTV. Start watching at minute 1:50:00 to catch Richard. Read the Pope’s homily at radiovaticana.