VATICAN CITY, April 26, 2015 (Zenit.org) – This morning, the Bishop of Rome presided over the ordinations of priests for the diocese of Rome in Saint Peter’s Basilica, and has given the new priests a list of do’s and don’ts.
In his homily, Pope Francis gave some insight into how to administer sacraments, and how to do so following the Good Shepherd as an example.
Specifically, Francis told the new priests to never reject baptism to anyone who asks.
Turning to penance, the Jesuit Pope said, “Always go into the confessional ready to forgive, not to condemn.”
The Pontiff also gave some advice on preaching, noting the words of your homilies will reach your people’s hearts if they come from yours.
“Read and meditate assiduously on the Word of the Lord to believe what you read, to teach what you have learned in faith, and to live what you have taught.”
“Give the Word of God, and thus your doctrine will be joy and support for the faithful of Christ; the scent of your life will be the testimony, because the example builds, but the words without example are empty words,” he said, noting they “will never arrive at the heart and even do harm: They do no good!”
Pope Francis also urged them to be merciful and be ministers of unity, both in families and in the Church.
Of the 19 men ordained, most were part of Roman seminaries, such as the Pontifical Roman Seminary, the Redemptoris Mater Diocesan College, and the Madonna del Divino Amore seminary.
Today marks the 52nd World Day of Prayer for the Vocations. In the Pope’s message for the occasion, published this month, he likewise called for priests to follow the Good Shepherd’s example, saying, “To offer one’s life in mission is possible only if we are able to leave ourselves behind.”
In his address to the faithful before and after the recitation of the Regina Coeli, Pope Francis also stressed that priests must be there for and seek out their ‘sheep.’