Book: Dear Father: A Message of Love for Priests
Author: Catherine de Hueck Doherty
Madonna House Publications, Combermere, ON
Excerpt from Preface:
Anyone who knows Catherine Doherty would expect her to treat this subject just as she has done, frankly, directly, simply, lovingly. She portrays an exalted and innate idea of the Priesthood which characterizes any references she ever makes to it in all her writings. "Priest", she seems to say, "you are God-with-us, chosen by him to guide, and to show us how to love him and one another.
"Why should you be restless, dissatisfied, angry? Why look to other pleasures? You have everything. Be what you are supposed to be — our friend, teacher, healer, servant. Be what Jesus wants you to be — another himself. Then your worries about identity will fade; you will find satisfaction and happiness; then you will no longer want to be other than you are; then you will be a bearer of peace and of hope to many confused people seeking prudence in today's doubt-filled world."
This message the author presents in an atmosphere of a profound love for priests, which can only flow from a love for the Eternal Priest and his chosen ones, a love that has grown over the years through prayer and penance. Her thrust is to encourage, to inspire, to protect, and to activate the priest as Christ's ambassador of love to all members of his flock, but especially to those who are yearning for the Lord.
Excerpt from Book:
Don't be afraid. Don't seek your "identity." You have it. You are a man touched by God, and we the laity know it. We love you, even if some are hostile to you and castigate you, because they think that certain of you have let us down. But don't be afraid. You have been touched by God, and so it is not you who speaks, but he. Let us hear his voice and, because you allowed him to speak through you, we shall know him. . . .
We speak much of community these days. You are a member of the people of God; you are in a community. The community loves you and expects from you not eloquence but that "something else" which is more than mere polish of words and of sermons prepared three days in advance. We hope for words that come from your heart because you have listened to his heart. Then, we know that he speaks through you.
Table of Contents:
I. The call to priesthood
II. Talk to us about God
III. Are priests relevant?
IV. Holocausts of love
V. Loneliness and priesthood
VI. Why we call you Father
VII. You bring us joy
VIII. Alter Christus — another Christ
IX. Protect the Church
X. Anointed teachers
XI. A new vision of priesthood
XIII. Our Lady, mother of priesthood