The following are two recent emails received and shared here in good faith. The first relates to the recent press coverage of negative comments on social media following streaming Masses. The second provides a series of links to online supports for priests on spirituality and pastoral life by Bishop Robert Barron.
I read an article in The Guardian which explained that some priests in Ireland had been discouraged by negative comments when they had said Mass online. I was very sorry to hear this and wanted to ask you to pass on my thanks to those priests you are in contact with who have been saying Mass during the pandemic whether ‘televised’ or not. How grateful I am. Such actions will bring us through this time very, very much better than if this had not been done.
With regard to those who have arranged for/allowed the Masses to be televised thank you also for that. I hope you will not be discouraged by the negative comments. You will not know in this life how perhaps a Mass you said simply may have helped one person attending online even if there was only one.
Sometimes I find the simplest Masses perhaps said by an elderly priest with not such a strong voice the most encouraging so please don’t all stop televising the Masses (if some feel they need to do this then of course we should understand). Also, perhaps we should consider switching off any places where people can leave comments, as uncharitable ones are upsetting for all of us not just the celebrant although of course we should always pray for those who write them
With very best wishes and, I will say it again – Thank You Dear Priests!
BG (in England)
Letter No 2
I sent this to a priest friend of mine because there are no priests retreats available. He responded by saying that I should send it to ACP. If it’s helpful, feel free to use it as you wish.
This email comprises many YouTube videos that raises issues on priest’s spirituality and pastoral life. I suggest not watching all the videos at one or two sittings. Ponder his words. The first batch (12) of them deals with a Priest’s Prayer life. This is followed by videos on Pastoral Theology (9), focusing on Evangelisation.
The videos are about 10 minutes in duration and are given by Bishop Robert Barron, LA who has Irish ancestry. The third video is a summary of a retreat he gave to the Dublin priests. The last 2 videos (lengthy) are 2 talks on the Priesthood from Fr Séamus Ryan.