"God blesses people through the Church," he said. "They want to be prayed with, they want to be prayed over."
Rossetti is the author of the book The Priestly Blessing: Rediscovering the Gift, in which he writes about the history and power of priestly blessings, what the Church teaches about blessings and sacramentals, and the importance of rediscovering blessings and sacramentals as a part of everyday life.
Priestly blessings, he said, are a key part of the mission of the priesthood-yet one that might be overlooked by many Catholics today.
"Despite our weaknesses as a Church," he said, "there still is this notion-which I think is true, the Vatican Council supported it-there is a 'sacred power' to the priesthood."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1667 says that sacramentals "are sacred signs instituted by the Church," which "prepare men to receive the fruit of the sacraments and sanctify different circumstances of life."
This last line, the sanctification of everyday life, is a characteristic that needs to be rediscovered today, Rossetti said.
Priestly blessings of persons, objects, or places, or sacramentals such as the sprinkling of holy water, are a concrete way "to realize that God wants to be part of our everyday lives, not just Sunday for an hour," Rossetti said.
Holy water fonts, crucifixes, and prayers before meals used to be more common in homes, he said, and showed that "our total lives were lived in the presence of the Lord" without "compartmentalizing religion."
One genius of Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical on ecology "Laudato Si" was that "it recognizes the sacramentality of creation, the fact that we need to care for it, and it becomes taken up and transformed in some way," he said.
As the Nationals now turn their attention to the 2019 World Series, Rossetti is excited to be watching - and cheering them on. He described the atmosphere in the clubhouse as nothing short of "electric."
The 2019 Nationals season has been a roller coaster ride, from the team's woeful 19-31 record at the beginning to their red-hot finish.
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An unofficial team motto is "Stay In the Fight," adopted from an oft-spoken mantra of team manager Davey Martinez. It fits this year's team, Rossetti said, because it is often viewed as an underdog to juggernauts like the Dodgers, Yankees, or Astros. "Just when you think they're down and out," he said, "they come from nowhere."
"I've never experienced something like this before," Rossetti said of the clubhouse atmosphere after the team clinched the National League pennant. "The place is on fire."