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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Saturday, October 03, 2009
YEAR FOR PRIESTS JULY 2009-2010(4th October 2009)

Archbishop Vincent Nichols writes:

The Year for Priests, called for by Pope Benedict XVI, is to be a year, in which, as a Church, we say that we are proud of our priests, that we love them, honour them and recognise with gratitude the witness of their lives and the generosity of their pastoral work.

During this Year of the Priests, as a Diocese, we will centre our effort around a renewed practice of prayer. In every parish we will centre this effort around prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary. I hope that every parish will devote an hour each week to prayer for priests before the Blessed Sacrament and that a rhythm of Forty Hours devotion can be established around the Deaneries. I hope that this renewal will reach to our schools too.

This practice of prayer, as well as study, will sustain us in our life together, it will enable us to thank God whole-heartedly for the gift of our priests and, I believe, it will be the source from which new vocations to the priesthood will spring.

Watch out for a special Holy Hour on some Tuesday mornings. Also our Rosary group is praying for vocations after morning weekday Masses.

Please see the Prayer cards at the back. The American iconographer, Marek Czarnecki, has written of the icon on this card that it is "based on a fifteenth century Greek prototype; here Christ is shown in Latin Rite vestments with a gold pelican over His heart, the ancient symbol of self-sacrifice. The borders contain a winding grapevine and altar prepared for the celebration of the liturgy of the Mass; in the borders are smaller icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney."

Melchizedek was a mysterious priestly figure of the Old Testament who prefigures Christ in his offering of bread and wine. St Jean-Baptiste Vianney is currently the patron of priests involved in the parochial ministry but during the coming year Pope Benedict XVI will proclaim him patron saint of all priests.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:34 am