Friday, February 14, 2003

Dolan gives a gift to his priests
Over Christmas Archbishop Dolan gave the priests of and in the archdiocese a copy of Fr. George A. Aschenbrenner, S.J.'s book, Quickening the Fire in Our Midst: The Challenge of Diocesan Priestly Spirituality. This book is now being used in one of the classes here at the seminary. In it Aschenbrenner explores the challenges specifically of the secular clergy (but many of the principles are applicable to religious priests who are in active, especially parochial ministry). The emphasis of seems to be on fidelity, singleness of heart and purpose, and a distinctive priestly identity flowing from a deep spirituality. Aschenbrenner, of course, comes from the Jesuit tradition, so much of what he says is grounded in Ignatian principles. See especially the appendices on the Examen.

I'd also highly recommend Archbishop Dolan's own book, Priests for the Third Millenium. This is a collection of Dolan's rector's conferences from when he was rector of the North American College in Rome before becoming auxiliary bishop in St. Louis. Good, solid traditional priestly spirituality here. No wiggle room for infidelity. It is not surprising that Dolan wrote the preface for Benedict Groeschel's book, From Scandal to Hope, which is also a must-read for those interested in the priesthood, priestly formation, and the solution to recent scandals.

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