One of the things I love most about being Catholic is the gift of the priesthood. I particularly love the discipline in the Roman rite of priestly celibacy, which is just as much a fulfillment of one’s sexuality as the sacrament of marriage:
Relying on the same disposition of the personal subject, thanks to which man fully finds himself through a sincere gift of self (Gaudium et Spes, 24:3), man (male and female) is able to choose the personal gift of self to another person in the conjugal covenant, in which they become “one flesh,” and he is able to renounce freely such a gift of self to another person, in order that by choosing continence “for the kingdom of heaven” he may give himself totally to Christ. On the basis of the same disposition of the personal subject and on the basis of the same spousal meaning of being, as a body, male and female, there can be formed the love that commits man to marriage for the whole duration of his life (Mt. 19:3-9), but there can be formed also the love that commits man for his whole life to continence “for the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 19:11-12). This is what Christ speaks about in his whole statement addressed to the Pharisees (Mt. 19:3-9) and then to the disciples (Mt. 19:11-12).
–John Paul II — General Audience 4/28/82 (TOB 80:6)
It is great a source of hope to know that so many men have literally given their lives in service to Christ and His Church. Last weekend I was so happy to attend the ordination of a very good friend of mine to the holy priesthood in Kansas City. Here are a few pictures:
Matt is “vested” by his brother, Fr. Angelo Bartulica, who was ordained in 2008. Very sweet. Now they are “brothers” in more ways than one:
Bishop Finn kisses his new priest’s hands after receiving his first blessing:
Blessing mom and dad:
It’s not going to be easy to start calling this guy “Father”, but I am super proud of him!
Congratulations, Fr. Matthew Bartulica!! St. John Vianney, pray for us!
Cute baby bonus – this super cutie kept coming over to play with my wheelchair at the reception: