Rorate Caeli

John XXIII: What priests are supposed to do

John XXIII offers the Holy Sacrifice,
Dec. 1962
50 years ago, as he prepared for the opening of his Council, Pope John XXIII met participants at the first International Congress for Priestly Vocations. It was a Saturday, like today, May 26, 1962. If only the Council had expressed this spirit, the spirit with which he concluded his short address... 

 Finally, may priests be careful not to give themselves totally to activism and exterior works of their ministry. By acting with such imprudent behavior, by slowly impoverishing the soul, one is incapable of working for the good of the parish and of the diocese. This also causes grave detriment to the vocations to the priesthood. For how will young men understand the seriousness of the priestly office if they do not see in priests an example of perfection which they may want to imitate?

For which priests must remember, in order to give example of perfect behavior, that the most important activities in their mission are: [1] to offer the Sacrifice of the Altar worthily; [2] to announce the word of God; [3] to give the Sacraments; [4] to be near the infirm, particularly the dying; [5] to teach the faith to the ignorant. All the rest that is not pertinent to these activities must be put aside or, at most, tolerated.