Pope Francis Gives Tips to New Priests


Taken from Vatican Radio
Taken from Vatican Radio

Today Pope Francis presided over the ordinations for the Diocese of Rome in St. Peter’s Basilica. Twenty six men were ordained.

In his homily, Pope Francis gave the newly ordained a few tips before embarking on their ministry. Most of his tips focused on how to administer the sacraments. A translation of Pope Francis’ homily can be found at Zenit. Below are highlights from his homily…


In regards to baptism, Pope Francis said that priests should never bar anyone from receiving the sacrament of baptism if they ask for it:

In Baptism, join new faithful to the People of God. Do not ever refuse Baptism to anyone who asks!

His advice on the Eucharist and the celebration of Mass was even more direct:

When you celebrate the Mass, therefore, acknowledge what you do. Do not do it in a hurry! Imitate that which you celebrate – not an artificial rite, an artificial ritual – in order that, participating in the mystery of death and resurrection of the Lord, you bring the death of Christ in your members and so that you walk with Him in the newness of life.

In giving advice about how to conduct themselves in the confessional, Pope Francis told the ordinands to always go into the confessional ready to forgive, and never to condemn:

I, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and his Bride, the Holy Church, I ask you not to grow weary of being merciful. In the confessional, you are to going to forgive, not to condemn! Imitate the Father who never gets tired of forgiving.

Pope Francis also gave them some advice on preaching. He noted that in order for the words of a homily to reach the hearts of the people, the words must first flow from the heart of the preacher:

This is the nourishment of the People of God; that your sermons are not boring; that your own homilies reach people’s hearts because they come from your heart, because what you are saying is truly what you have in your heart. So give the Word of God, and thus your doctrine will be joy and support for the faithful of Christ; the scent of your life will be the testimony, because the example builds, but the words without example are empty words, and will never arrive at the heart and even do harm: They do no good!

Pope Francis also reminded the ordinands that their service must be for the Church and not themselves:

Aware of being chosen from among men and being favored among them to attend to the things of God, exercise in joy and sincere charity the priestly work of Christ, intent only on
pleasing God and not yourselves. It is a bad priest who lives to please himself, who does “the Peacock!”

Finally, Pope Francis called those being ordained to strive to model the life of the Good Shepherd:

Be ministers of unity in the Church, in family – leading them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. And always keep in mind the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be served but to serve; not to stay in his comfort, but to go out and seek and save what was lost.


Today also marks the 52nd World Day of Prayer for Vocations. A summary of Pope Francis’ message for vocations released a few weeks ago can be found at Pray Tell.



  1. Reading this post at the end of a long day–most of which was spent in church–was a blessing, as is this Pope EVERY day.

  2. How incredibly grateful I am for the work of the Holy Spirit in guiding the election of Pope Francis! His words to those newly ordained provide fresh hope for the Church in Rome. I always wondered what it would be like if a Pope actually carried out his duties as Bishop of Rome by shepherding his local church as a servant leader. May his example spread to the local churches all over the world for the greater honor and glory of God!

  3. Wishing the newly ordained joy in their challenging mission and perseverance in their cherished vocation. God bless.

  4. ‘Pastoral’ should mean a dedication to bringing people to Jesus, and, ultimately, to Heaven. It means addressing sin, not sweeping it under the carpet under the guise of ‘mercy’.

    Many parishes have a period of instruction before Baptism, and requirements that at least one parent and one sponsor be a PRACTICING Catholic in order for their child to be baptized, unless, of course, it is an emergency situation. Our priests require a period of faithful attendance at Mass before Baptism, and, therefore, are not refusing Baptism, but delaying it so that they understand and mean the promises they make during the Rite of Baptism. Bear in mind that some of these parents and sponsors may not have been to Mass since their wedding or Confirmation – or longer. How can they promise to raise the child in a Faith they have not been practicing themselves?

    From the perspective of this RCIA Team member, the ambiguity of a number of Pope Francis’ comments is hard to justify in the context of scripture, the Catechism, and Canon Law. He has made our work much more difficult, as he has said and done too many things that certainly appear to contradict the teachings of Christ and the Church.

    May these newly ordained remember that their primary obligation is the salvation of souls, not making sinners comfortable in their sin. The first person they need to please is Christ!

    “Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who confess AND FORSAKE THEM obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

    “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away”. Acts 3:19

    Didn’t anyone notice that in Pope Francis’ homily there was no call for repentance? Yes. Jesus did meet people where they were, but, He did so to call them/us to repentance so they/we could take full advantage of the mercies of God.

    My prayer is that all our clergy remember the call to repentance, bringing lost sheep back into the fold. This pope is in serious need of our prayers. May he be a faithful Shepherd, and lead all to the Truth Christ…

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