As I write today, I am attending our annual Presbyteral Convocation, which is fancy terminology for a meeting or gathering of priests. We are in Avalon for three days enjoying some priestly fraternity, listening to and reflecting on a few talks, sharing some meals and discussions, praying together and honoring our priest jubilarians at Mass and being encouraged to minister with more dedication and love for all of you.
The Archbishop gave the priests two talks based on the words of the Mass describing Jesus' consecration of the Holy Eucharist, and then presented his unique perspective on the war in Ukraine during a third talk. I am currently digesting his words and insights for use at a later time.
This evening, during the Mass (the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist), we will honor our priest jubilarians celebrating 25, 40, 50 and 60 years of ordained priesthood. I watch as our diocesan priests grow older with the number fewer. I see how many foreign-born clergy, fortunately, now supply what the decreasing number of our own native-born clergy are unable to do.
What will the future hold for the Diocese of Camden? Only the Lord knows for certain. However, today we celebrate the ministry of those who have answered the call to priesthood and have remained faithful to it. Ad multos annos!