by Sister Marie Roccapriore
YOUR NAME IS FATHER, a unique title. You bear a unique relationship with people in a multi-cultural society of believers and nonbelievers, but most important, in the Church of Roman Catholic worshipers.
YOUR NAME IS FATHER, a revealing title. It points to your ordained service to God, the Church, and others. Your title outwardly reveals that you have been chosen by God to be his servant, to carry out his plan to live and preach gospel values.
YOUR NAME IS FATHER, an identifying title. You not only do the things of a priest, you are a priest, identified by the name Father and the Roman collar, to live in celibacy with joy and with an open heart to share compassionate love with others as you lead them to Christ.
YOUR NAME IS FATHER, a significant title. It conveys to the world that you no longer live for yourself but for others, to teach them that sacrificial giving of oneself has significant value and that no gift is too great for Christ.
YOUR NAME IS FATHER, a sacred title. Through your personal prayer life and your role in the sacred Liturgy of the Eucharist, you inspire others toward an understanding and appreciation of the sacredness of God’s Word and the gift of life.
YOUR NAME IS FATHER, a respectful title. When someone addresses you or calls your name, it resonates respect. Your title distinguishes you from the laity and sets you apart from the materialism of a secular world.
YOUR NAME IS FATHER, a ministerial title. It is the name that refers to a special position of leadership in your sacramental ministry as you aspire to bring healing, truth, justice, forgiveness, and peace to the world.
YOUR NAME IS FATHER, a costly title. It costs you all that you are and have. It is a reminder for you to live in total commitment to God every moment of your life in imitation of the Divine Priest, Jesus, whose life and death brought redemption and salvation to all humanity.
What an awesome title is yours, Dear Father, Priest of God, and special friend to us all! We praise and thank God for all you are and do. We pray blessings upon you now and always.
Sister Marie Roccapriore is Director of Religious Education and Parish Minister in St. Thomas Parish, Southington, CT. She is the director of Spirit Joy Children’s Music Ministry, which reaches out to the sick and elderly in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health-care facilities.
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This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, December 2010.
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