March 26, 2010
A Priest Forever: nine signs of renewal and hope
By Br. Benet S. Exton *

By Br. Benet S. Exton *

Alfred McBride, O.Praem. Cincinnati, Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2010.  ISBN 978-0-86716-954-6 $12.95

This book by Norbertine Fr. Alfred McBride is an encouraging book for today’s priests, many of whom are overworked, getting older, and fewer in numbers. “A Priest Forever” is a source and encouragement for priestly renewal. The book focuses on the role and person of the priest and addresses a variety of corollary topics.

Throughout the book, Fr. McBride encourages priests to be more attentive and aware of what they are doing when celebrating the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. He also reminds them to make some time every day for prayer. Another thing he touches on is a reminder to include social justice in the priestly ministry, but not to let it be the center of their ministry. The focal place of a priest’s ministry belongs to Christ, says Fr. McBride. He suggests that priests mix Catholic social teachings with what they say and do.

McBride captures his audience by using quotes from various saints, popes as well as ordinary priests and people. He also utilizes relevant stories to augment the point he is making in any particular chapter.

An important aspect of the book is that it reminds both priests and lay Catholics of the true identity of the priest: that he is set apart from amongst God’s people in a special sacramental way. Priests should not be ashamed to be identified as a priest, he says. McBride also gives some suggestions on how priests can improve on their preaching and encourages them to cultivate a devotion to the Mother of God, which can be of great help to priests. The vow of chastity, which is under attack in the media again, is also discussed.

Fr. McBride concludes on a positive note. He says that the priesthood is being renewed and that gradually more young men are answering the call of Jesus to the priesthood.

The book can be read quickly. However, the best way to read it is at a slow, reflective, meditative pace. Fr. McBride’s work is not overly deep or academic work. Yet is it not overly simplistic either. 

In light of the recent sexual abuse scandals and media hyperactivity in attacking the priesthood and the Church, the timing in publishing this book is perfect.

Fr. McBride’s book can be used in a group study setting, a group retreat or alone. He provides questions at the end of each chapter for reflection, which is also very helpful. This book would be good for priest support groups, a priest alone, or others who support priests in their ministry. This book is a great encouragement to priests!

Br. Benet Exton, O.S.B., St. Gregory's University, Shawnee, Oklahoma.
« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 22, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: 1 Sam 1: 24-28
Gospel:: Lk 1: 46-56

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Text only

Follow us: