This column shall do two things for all who read this.
The first is to share what the meaning of the Catholic priesthood is all about, and the second is to share the fact that the choirs of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity - in her bicentennial year, 2010 - are honoring with a sacred music concert all Catholic priests in the Augusta area Sunday at 6 p.m., at the church, 811 Telfair St., to say thanks for their vocation by God to guide all faithful closer to Jesus Christ, our Savior.
What is the meaning of the Catholic priesthood? There is much to respond to in this answer.
First of all, we are convinced that God is the author of all life, and by God's graces and sacramental signs and wonders in the Catholic Church, there are named seven sacraments of God's real love and presence: baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, holy orders and marriage.
Of these, Catholic churches teach that by the ordination of a priest, "the ministerial priesthood is a means by which Jesus Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church."
The Catholic Church teaches that the priesthood communicates a "sacred power" which is none other than that of Christ.
The exercise of this authority must therefore be measured against the model of Christ, who by love made himself the least and servant of all. In the Catholic Church, priests can exercise their ministry only in dependence on the bishop and in communion with him. The promise of obedience they make to the bishop at ordination means that the bishop considers the priest his co-worker to bring to the faithful the teachings of Jesus Christ and the faithful administration of the seven sacraments of grace.
The second part of this column is to recognize that all Catholic priests in the Augusta area have been invited by the Church of the Most Holy Trinity to attend during this Year of the Priest, which concludes June 11, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
This special concert of sacred music is sung by the choir members to give honor and praise to God for our dedicated priests who serve the local parishes of St. Mary on the Hill, St. Joseph, St. Teresa of Avila and Most Holy Trinity in downtown Augusta. This concert will honor all those devoted priests who guide all the faithful to holiness of life by prayer and reception of the sacraments.
These priests are the Revs. Jerry Ragan, Ed Frank, Charlie Hughes, Mark VanAlstine, Matthew Eriksen, Thomas Healy, Gaspar Hegedus, Michael Roverse, Martino Nguyen and Michael Kavanugh; myself; and other priests in our area.
In this Year of the Priest, we give thanks to God for them and their guidance of all souls to God's heavenly kingdom: Paradise. May all Catholic priests come to join us at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity on Sunday at 6 p.m. for a special night of sacred music. Amen.
The writer is parochial vicar of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Augusta.