Archbishop Timothy Dolan: 'God Is the Only Treasure People Desire to Find in a Priest'
'Sometimes I wonder if we are being invited back to the Church of the Acts of the Apostles. Sometimes I wonder if we priests, bishops -- indeed the entire Church -- have been reduced to the utterly basic reply of Peter and John to the crippled beggar in Temple Square in Jerusalem, as recorded in Acts 3: "Silver and Gold I have not, but what I do have, I sure give you: In the name of Jesus Christ, stand up and walk! Pizzazz, glitter, gold, clout, prestige, power, property, wealth -- we ain't got! All we got is Jesus -- and that's the greatest treasure of all. That's what people want! And we can't give Him unless we got Him. And that's called holiness.'
Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - In a recent conversation with a friend we bemoaned the great challenges we face as Catholic Christians as the West implodes around us. Those challenges affect not only the culture, but even more so, the Church. The Church alone has what is needed to resuscitate Western Civilization. Yet, the Church is besieged with seemingly endless struggles within. I reminded my friend of a theme I often repeat in my writing, that this is a new missionary age. We can trust that the Lord knows exactly what He is doing because the Church is His Plan and He has not changed His mind.
The conversation occurred on June 1, 2010, the Feast of the great apologist and Martyr Justin. I had reread some wonderful hagiography in my morning prayer. I was inspired once again by the excerpt concerning his martyrdom in the Office of Readings. I reminded my friend that the Church has been in this kind of position many times in her 2000 years and that, in fact, this is her very mission. Finally, I told my friend that the Lord uses "Living Stones"- in every generation - to rebuild and renew His Church. I shared that phrase, and other words, which the Apostle Peter used to encourage the early Christians who were dispersed throughout Asia Minor in one of the first persecutions (1 Peter 2: 4 - 10).
I ended our discussion by expressing my deep conviction that in this crucial hour the Lord has placed significant "Living Stones" in the Office of Bishop, successor of the Apostles, in some very strategic places. We have only to look at two of the US Dioceses in need of recovery as examples; Archbishop Gomez in Los Angeles and Archbishop Wenski in Miami. Finally, I mentioned that one of my heroes, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who had done such extraordinary work in the Milwaukee recovery and is now leading the Church of New York, would be playing a prominent role in serving the recovery of the Church in Ireland.
After the conversation I began my work of writing. In my research I found Archbishop Dolans address given on May 27, 2010 at St. Patrick's College, in Maynooth, Ireland. He had been asked to speak on the priesthood. As I read his talk I knew it was just one more affirmation from the Holy Spirit that the Church is in good hands; the hands of Jesus Christ. He is Her Head and she is His Body, carrying forward His redemptive mission into what will be a Third Christian Millennium. This address from this good Archbishop is extraordinary. It can be read in its entirety here. We offer just a few excerpts to encourage our readers around the world to trust, pray and continue their own participatory part in the work of the Church in this new missionary age.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan: 'God Is the Only Treasure People Desire to Find in a Priest.'
".. Not long after Pope John Paul II appointed me Archbishop of Milwaukee in the summer of 2002, I was chatting with one of our many splendid priests. Keep in mind, now, that 2002 was a high crisis period in our own history, very similar to what you are going through right now. It was even worse in Milwaukee, because my predecessor had sadly resigned in ignominy after revelations that he had paid an adult male partner $450,000 of archdiocesan funds.
Thus I asked this priest, holding my breath, "How are you doing?" "Thanks for asking," he replied, rather, to my surprise, upbeat and chipper. "Actually, considering all the fodder" -- he actually used another word but we're in mixed company -- "we've been through, I think, thank God, I'm doing pretty good. I find myself more grounded than ever."
I was fascinated by that phrase, "more grounded than ever ." and asked him to elaborate. "Well, for one," he began, "I'm grounded because the trauma of these months has literally dropped me to my knees, to the ground, in more and better prayer." "Two, I'm grounded because I have grown in my humility, which comes from the Latin word for soil, earth, ground." "And finally," he went on, "I'm grounded because I've had to rediscover the foundation, the base, the ground of my very life: my faith in and love for God, my very identity as a child of God, saved by His Son, reconfigured to Jesus at the very grounding of my being as a priest."
And then, in a finale I'll never forget, he concluded, "So, my new archbishop thanks for asking. To answer your question as to how I am; Lightning has struck me these recent months, but, don't worry, I'm fine! I'm grounded !" Not bad, huh! And what I propose is that those three groundings this priest mentioned -- prayer, humility, and a rediscovery of identity -- can provide a response to the statement of faith inherent in my ...
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