The purpose of the art meditation in this issue of The Sower is to encourage every catechist in every parish to give at least one session of adult formation to help people understand the true depths of priesthood. Pope John Paul II wrote, ‘A properly structured catechesis, directed to all the members of the Church, in addition to dissipating doubts and countering one-sided or distorted ideas about priestly ministry, will open believers' hearts to expect the gift and create favourable conditions for the birth of new vocations. The time has come to speak courageously about priestly life as a priceless gift’.[i] The present Holy Father, Benedict XVI, has now linked priesthood to the Sacred Heart at the beginning of this year for priests – this therefore can be a focus for our catechesis. The recent document on priesthood by Pope John Paul II quoted above begins, ‘I will give you shepherds after my own heart’ (Jer. 3:15). Christ has fashioned the priesthood ‘after’ or ‘according to’ his own heart. In order to consider priests as pastors, as shepherds, we need, then, to look at Christ’s own heart.
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