The Priest’s Movement is one of the expressions of the outreach of the Focolare Movement and shares all the same nature, spirit and aims. It spreads within the diocesan presbyteries, seminaries and the various ecclesial environments a spirit of communion, to contribute to their renewal in the light of the Testament of Jesus: “That all may be one” (Jn 17:21). The priests Movement is made up of: diocesan priests, permanent deacons and Catholic seminarians and also, in line with their own churches, ministers from other Christian churches and ecclesial communities.
Making the spirituality of unity their own, priests rediscover the importance of being first and foremost authentic Christians. As a priority before any priestly function they try to witness to: “By this all shall know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35).
The evangelical style of life that has arisen, has been confirmed “Presbyterorum ordinis” (Decree on Life of Priests, 1965) from the Second Vatican Council and the Magesterum emphasis ever since.
In fact, making mutual charity the basis, it becomes spontaneous to put into common material goods and spiritual gifts; give witness to unity and pastoral charity; to live with joy the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience; to have as much care of self as for confreres, make of the house and parish harmonious places which can help communion; continued formation in order to be men of dialogue; to live as a members of the one body by keeping up contact with confreres and all the people of God.
Being alert to the most urgent needs of the Church within the various pastoral fields or ‘ecclesial worlds’, the priests Movement organises meetings and courses on an international and local level, based on the charism and the experience of the Focolare Movement in different pastoral environments, like evangelisation, catecheses, formation etc. These meetings are a real life school, giving the opportunity to know significant experiences from the lay side of the Movement with young people, families, economy, health etc.
In recent years there have been some particularly noteworthy events:
- Collaboration with other Movements and Communities and with the diocesan representatives for clergy for a renewal of priestly life and pastoral care
- The running of spiritual exercises for priests, deacons and seminarians, inspired by the spirituality of communion
- International congresses:
– 2006: “Church Today” with the presence of a thousand priests and seminarians
– 2009: “There is a Way” with 500 seminarians, January 2009
– 2010: “Priests Today”, at the conclusion of the Year of the Priest, in the Paul VI Hall within the Vatican. 4,000 priests took part. With the support of the Congregation for the Clergy and organised together with the Schoenstatt Movement in collaboration with the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal and other ecclesial groups
– Annual course for teachers in seminaries, during the month of July, which inspires participants towards a style of communitarian formation
– A range of publications, such as “365 Thoughts on the life of priests” (Citta Nuova, Rome 2009),
– “Priests in a changing world” – a book published and translated into 17 languages came out during the Year of the Priest ( P.Coda,and B. Leahy, Citta Nuova Rome 2010), the result of an international study Seminar;
– Other publications: magazine about ecclesial life “Gen’s”, the Italian edition of which has a circulation of 3,000 copies and offers a deepening of the spirituality of unity and current ecclesial topics. This magazine is also published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Polish.