This morning all of the priests of the Archdiocese of Miami will gather in the Cathedral of St. Mary's for the Annual Chrism Mass and the Renewing of Priestly Promises. We gather with our Archbishop to renew the promises we made at ordination to be good shepherds after the Lord's own heart, to pray for our people, and to offer the sacraments for the redemption of souls. It is a beautiful Mass that is part of Holy Week and brings together this uncommon brotherhood of men who serve God's people as their priests. Towards the end of the renewal of priestly promises, the Archbishop turns to the people and asks them to pray for their priests and the people consent to this request.
Truth be told, we need your prayers and we feel your prayers. Many years ago, a wise old priest would tell everyone he met as he said goodbye to them, "Please pray for me." Notice how Pope Francis in almost every one of his remarks always asks the people to pray for him (he started his Pontificate asking the people in St. Peter's Square to pray for him). There is a beautiful spiritual relationship that exists between a priest and his people and it is held up and strengthened through prayer. Almost daily, someone comes up to me and to tell me that they are praying for me. This lifts us up more than you can know. Obviously, being a priest is not easy, but it comforts us to know that we have an army of faithful praying for us not just on this day but every day. So wherever you may be reading this and from whatever parish you are from: on this day, pray for the priests of your parish.