So much is being asked of our priests in the Archdiocese these days. Secular life in society is no longer supportive and parish life is so much more complicated and demanding. There is a shortage of priests, and some are being called to serve in more than one parish. We thank God for all our priests.
We are grateful for the presence of our 21 international missionary priests from India and Africa. We thank God for their sacrifice in leaving family and country to preach the Gospel and celebrate the sacraments for us.
We thank God too for our deacons, as with the priests they are sharers in the overall pastoral ministry of our Archbishop in the Archdiocese. Some of them, beyond their specific ministries, have the extra responsibility of being pastoral directors of parishes.
Our retired priests, freed from administration and finance responsibilities of being parish priests, continue to serve by supplying for Masses on weekends and celebrating funerals as well as other ministries. And we can’t forget those priests who, having served us for many years, are now long retired and in need of extra medical care, home help or nursing home support.
There are also our migrant chaplains and priests of other Catholic rites, such as the Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankar, Maronite, Ukrainian, and Melkite communities.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian lives. Our priests act in the person of Christ in celebrating this memorial meal of his sacrifice on the cross.
“Our priests are Integral members and leaders of the Catholic Community...When they celebrate the Eucharist with the community, the whole gathering responds to Jesus’ command at the Last Supper: “Do this in memory of me” (I Cor 11.24)
...And further, priests mediate the memory of Jesus and his pastoral love through their various daily encounters...Second, in leading parishes, priests have a fundamental role of drawing parishioners into the communion which is the church, and which has its ultimate source in our God, who is a trinitarian Communion-in-love. Pivotal to this ministry of communion is the task of inviting parishioners into various ministries that serve the church and the world.”
(Drawn into the Joy of the Gospel – Formation in the Archdiocese of Adelaide, Fr James McEvoy)
The First Collection campaign is about understanding our priests and deacons, valuing them and supporting them in ministry. Not as
isolated icons but as brothers called to serve us and unite us together as missionary disciples of Christ. With them as all the baptised we collaborate in a spirit of participation, communion and mission – key themes of the Synod on Synodality.
The Clergy Care Council and the Clergy Life and Ministry Committee of the Archdiocese coordinate the care, support and ongoing formation of our priests and deacons. We are especially grateful for the day-to-day care of our Clergy Care nurses.
Vocations to the priesthood are actively promoted and there is an ongoing program for the recruitment and inculturation of international missionary priests.