.- The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy has joined Pope Benedict XVI’s inauguration of the Year for Priests by announcing an international convocation for English-speaking priests in Rome in January 2010.
Pope Benedict’s declaration of the Year for Priests marks the 150th anniversary of St. John Mary Vianney, the patron of parish priests. The Pope intends to deepen all priests’ commitment to interior renewal to improve their witness to the Gospel.
“The Confraternity holds that while individual dioceses sponsor events year round, it is imperative that in the Year for Priests, the clergy themselves take ownership of their spirituality and seek to grow in wisdom and grace to better serve the People of God,” the Confraternity said in a press release.
The Confraternity, a national association of 600 priests and deacons, was founded in 1975 to provide spiritual, theological and pastoral formation for clergy. Their convocation for the Year for Priests will take place Jan. 4-8 in Rome.
The group’s convocations feature time spent together before the Blessed Sacrament, common prayer and participation in spiritual conferences, workshops and seminars.
“Vatican II and the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, as well as Canon Law, make it clear that ongoing formation of the clergy is not an option or luxury, it is a necessity," said Fr. John Trigilio, President of the Confraternity.
The Confraternity has also launched a revised version of its website, which Fr. Trigilio said will be “user friendly” and will help with the upcoming convocation in Rome.
“If Saint John Vianney himself was alive today, he would be online helping his parishioners and his brother priests," he remarked.
The Confraternity’s website is at http://www.catholic-clergy.org