Cardinal Andrew Yeom and bishops lay hands on candidates for priesthood during the 2019 Ordination Mass for the Archdiocese of Seoul. (Photo supplied)
The Archdiocese of Seoul will celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests with a Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral on June 19.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only priests of the archdiocese will attend the Mass without the presence of the faithful.
Following the Mass, there will be a simple program celebrating the 60th and 70th priestly ordination anniversaries of two priests, the golden jubilee of four priests — including Cardinal Andrew Yeom — and the silver jubilee of 25 priests in the Archdiocese of Seoul.
In his special contribution on June 14 to the Catholic Times, Cardinal Yeom said: “If we leave Christ, our teacher and Lord, we will turn out nothing. On the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests, I call upon the Lord that we priests may carry out better the entrusted mission of proclaiming the Gospel in the face of the waves of the world by honoring the sacred heart of Jesus Christ and by taking after him.”
The archbishop of Seoul also encouraged priests to live a life bringing God's love and the joy of the Gospel to the Church and the world.
“Being called to be a priest is for the good and salvation of the people of God. With this in mind, let's treat each and every person we meet within the pastoral domain with the heart of Christ. In particular, let's take more interest in the physically and spiritually poor whom we meet in our respective environments,” said Cardinal Yeom.
Occurring annually on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests was established by Pope St. John Paul II in 2002 and encourages priests to reflect upon the importance and dignity of their vocation.
In his Holy Thursday homily on April 9, Pope Francis reminded priests that in order to serve others, they must first allow themselves to be served by Christ.
Just like St. Peter, priests must be willing to be washed by Christ, forgiven by Christ, and loved by Christ so that they, in turn, may be dispensers of divine forgiveness and love to others, he said.