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We Need Priests?

October 2, 2016 by Imagine Sisters in Uncategorized w 0

We need priests!

Youve almost certainly heard this comment before. Maybe you heard it in a
homily, at a vocations event, or from someone at your parish. You may even have
said it once or twice yourself As a seminarian studying for the priesthood, I know
I certainly hear it a lot nearly every week, in fact! The truth is, we do need
priests because we desperately need the grace of the Sacraments only they can
provide for the Church. We need Christs presence, both in the priest themselves
and in the immense gift of the Masses they o er.

Im glad we recognize this, most especially when I see how many other men are
invited to consider the priesthood for the rst time, just because someone saw
the need for holy priests and took the chance of encouraging him. As one of those
guys, though the ones being invited and formed for a vocation to the
priesthood I want to tell you about the unsung heroes in my own journey of
discernment and formation: Religious sisters. I always met these women in
unexpected times and places, and I was always surprised by the humility and
quiet joy they radiated without speaking a word.

I remember the rst time I met one of the sisters, when, three years ago give
or take a week she and several of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia showed up
for Eucharistic Adoration at my campus ministry. Two years of discernment and
one seminary application later, the same sister stopped me on the sidewalk in
Washington, DC . . . to tell me that shed been praying for me since I began
discerning the priesthood.

Many of these women have inspired me to try to be a better person than I am. A
few have legitimately changed my life. The Poor Clare, barely noticed in her rural
cloister, who quietly supports me through her prayers. The Missionary of Charity
who wakes up every day to make dozens of beds and wash the dishes, who
handed me a mop and told me with broken English and an eloquent smile, By
doing, you learn. The many, many friends who are so willing to hear Christs
invitation to live as His brides, and to o er Him their lives and vocations.

Yes, we need priests.

What you wont hear as often, though, is this:

Priests (and seminarians) need sisters.

They are our spiritual mothers, who devote themselves to praying for us, as
awed and human as we are, so that we might one day be able to bring Christ to
the world in a very real way. They are witnesses to the true joy we can nd in
giving ourselves totally and completely to God and His Church. They are the ones
who hold us up and keep us going with their sacri ces. God has given these
women a crucial mission, but as much as we need their intercession and support,
they need ours, too. If we want to create a culture that will nourish their
vocations, we need to pray for our religious sisters and discerners, support the
people and organizations like Imagine Sisters who exist to show the world
the beauty of the consecrated life, and invite others to do the same.

We like to say, One sister can change the world.

I know theyve certainly changed mine.

Cassidy Stinson is a Seminarian for the Diocese of Richmond

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