Pope urges priests to liven up Masses

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Pope Francis leads the Holy Thursday Mass that marks the start of four days of Easter celebrations, in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, Thursday, March 28, 2013. AP

VATICAN CITY- Pope Francis called on lackluster priests on Thursday to liven up their masses and preach to their congregations with zeal, to overcome the “crisis of priestly identity.”

“The so-called priestly identity threatens us all and adds to the broader cultural crisis,” the pope told hundreds of cardinals, priests and bishops during his first Holy Thursday homily in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Argentine pope used the image of the holy oil with which Aaron the Priest is anointed in the Bible — which is poured on his head and runs down in rivulets — to describe the way that priests should touch the lives of the faithful.

“A good priest is recognized by the way his people are anointed. For example, when they leave mass looking as if they had heard good news,” he said, before blessing a silver urn full of oil.

Those who remain distant from their flocks “miss out on the best of our people, on what can stir the depths of his priestly heart,” he said.

“Those who do not go out of themselves, instead of being mediators, gradually become intermediaries, managers. This is precisely the reason why some priests grow dissatisfied, lose heart,” he added.

Since his inauguration to the papacy last week, the Latin American pope has stressed his desire to bring the Church closer to ordinary people.

His call to priests to liven up masses may also be a bid to fight growing secularism in the West.

“In the contemporary world… the only thing that counts is ‘unction’, not function,” he said, referring to the religious ritual of anointing someone with oils.

The Chrism mass kicked off four days of symbolic ceremonies which commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

Later on Thursday, Francis will wash the feet of 12 young prisoners in the Casal del Marmo prison in northwest Rome, continuing a tradition based on the belief that Christ washed the feet of his apostles before the final meal together before his crucifixion.

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  • mabuhay_si_marKy

    galing talaga nitong pope francis!

  • Billy Moreno

    with Pope Francis, I hope many priests change their attitudes now!

    • txtman

      PANGUNAHAN NA YAN NI BERNAS
      PERO ASA KA PA?
      HIMALA KUNG MAGBABAGO ANG ISANG KAMPON NG DEMONYO
      NA NAGPAPANGGAP NA ISANG PARI (NAGKATAWANG PARI)
      PITIFUL

      • marienkind

        You sound like a very angry person. I don’t even see your stand on the issue. You just criticize everybody who posts anything in this article. Your parents must be so proud.

      • txtman

        AKO GALIT?
        AHAHAHA
        MATUTUWA KA BA SA MGA KAMPON NG KADILIMAN?
        MIND YOU
        THE BIBLE IS ALWAYS ANGRY WITH EVIL DEEDS
        PITIFUL

      • tarikan

        U R a fundamentalist bigot. U R no different from the Tali…BaN. Cannot accept a differing view. Makitid ang utak or kulang sa timbang ang utak.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        your not the bible and every time you open your mouth its a evil deed pitiful and pathetic

      • txtman

        JUST WAIT ANG SEE
        LALABAS DIN KUNG SINO TALAGA SI BERNAS
        MATAKOT KA
        KUNG ISA KANG NILALANG NA PANIG SA KABUTIHAN
        PITIFUL

      • pakita_ko_sayo

        hayaan mo na, marienkind. Yan ang resulta ng mga games sa computer. Nawasa na utak ng taong yan. Pag pasensyahan mo na lang.

      • coladu

        Why fight? Jesus said, LOVE is the greatest of all! Love thy neighbor as thyself!

  • John Sulayman

    I hope he visits and tells that to our priests. Masses are just so boring that (sa case ko when i attend mass), people don’t sing anymore and they also sleep during homilies.

    • txtman

      WHY NOT TELL THAT TO YOUR OWN PRIEST?
      BETTER TO HIS BISHOPS?
      PERO QUESTION
      BAKIT KA BA NAGSISIMBA?
      PAKITANG TAO LANG BA?
      IF YOUR FAITH IS STRONG & THE INTENTION IS GOOD
      WALANG PROBLEMA YAN
      EH, DI PANGUNAHAN MONG UMAWIT?
      PITIFUL

      • John Sulayman

        Pitiful for you if you are implying upon yourself that you do not attend mass when you allegedly claim that your faith is strong and your intentions are good. How can that possibly be so when the non-attendance of mass in appearance and in spirit is tantamount to a mortal sin.

    • Noel

      Instead of preaching about the Gospel, the priests usually deliver other matters some of which are irrelevant. Worse, they use the sacred occasion to attack or defend certain political issues and personalities. Notorious was the late Cardinal Sin.

  • UrHONOR

    TO CBCP: Happy Esther!

    • tristan marius

      sino si Esther?

      • UrHONOR

        Marami sila…ang ilan ay: Esther Reyes, Esther Advincula, at Esther Castillo

  • Be Nice

    Siguro kung mahusay ang anak at magaling ang ulo, mag doktor o mag abogado siya. Kung mahina ang ulo, tarandtado, mahiyain, o baklain, pagpapariin na lang. Ganyan minsan tayo mag alay sa Diyos.

    • Euan Mac

      +1

    • txtman

      YOUR MISSING THE POINT
      DAPAT MAY CALLING KA
      NOT SIMPLY, YOU WANT IT
      PITIFUL
      JUST LIKE MEDIA PEOPLE- A LOT OF THEM ARE HALIK PWET,
      GUSTO LANG MAG-ARTISTA
      KAYA HAYAN KABABOYAN LANG ANG MGA SINUSULAT
      AT PINAPALABAS SA TV
      PITIFUL

      • Be Nice

        Wala naman issue sa calling. Ang nabanggit ko ay isa lang sa mga paraan ng tao sa pagsagot sa tawag ng Diyos. At saka, wala namang absolute sa sinabi ko. Kaya gumamit ako ng salitang “siguro” at “minsan”. Kumbaga ay bato-bato sa langit ang tamaan ay huwag magagalit.

      • txtman

        READ YOUR STATEMENTS AGAIN
        FOR YOU SIGURO
        QUESTION: BAKIT HINDI KA NAGPARI?
        BAKIT HINDI MO PINAGPARI ANAK MO?
        WHAT A SHAME
        PITIFUL

      • Be Nice

        Huwag po kayong magalit. Relax lang po.

      • leubas

        TLAGA GANYAN ANG MGA BOBO AT WALANG ALAM PAG MAY HINDI NAGUSTOHAN NAGAGALIT AGAD.

      • tarikan

        Sabi ng English grammar teacher ko nun, YOU ARE kung abbreviated ay YOU’RE. Ang “your” naman is second person possessive, attributive adjective. YOUR MISSING THE POINT. Am I really?

      • leubas

        HAHAH NAKITA MO RIN HA,,NAPANSIN KO DIN!

      • coladu

        By the way, what is your CALLING? Is there? I observed that you criticize everyone from the smallest mistake that you see! It appears you are a very perfect person; one who is more popish than the Pope, as it were.

  • pilipino_ako6

    This Pope is amazing. He has been able to tell the priests what mass goers have been too reticent to say.

    • marienkind

      Im beginning to like him more than Pope John Paul II, actually.

      • tarikan

        And for me…more than Bishop Cruz of Dagupan or the bishops of CBCP. Is there a possibility that the good bishops of CBCP will dislike him (Pope Francis I)?

  • rlo

    Once upon a time when I was still a Catholic, there was an Italian priest in Malate Church who was very lively and would walk up and down the aisle. A very engaging person. He’s not there anymore, I don’t go to church anymore. But if I find a Catholic priest like that, I’d go to Church for the entertainment value. Worst are the American and European Catholic churches….somber to morose.

    • Pat Vlchek

      So you go to Mass because of the human priest, not to worship and receive Christ in the Eucharist?

      • rlo

        Yes, if there was a pole dancing priest that would be lovely. I think you just like to be sarcastic and I’m certainly appreciative of sarcasm. But I do believe you know what I mean. A homily/sermon entails that you need to pay attention to the speaker. Certainly a monotonous delivery would not really be appreciated.

    • txtman

      INENG, HINAHANAP MO AY ENTERTAINER
      PUNTA KA SA CLUB OR PERYAHAN
      YOU MISSED THE POINT
      YOU MUST HAVE A STRONG FAITH
      PITIFUL

    • marienkind

      I like the Malate Church priests. They’re practical and witty and they dont drag their homilies on for half an hour. They’re missionaries so maybe it’s a western ideal.

      • txtman

        AHAHAHAHA
        ISA PA ITO
        LOVE GOD & LIVE THE WORDS OF GOD
        AS SIMPLE AS THAT
        PITIFUL

  • TinimbangNgunitKulang

    Many Catholics go to mass inspite of most priests who are turning off parishioners instead of uplifting their spirits.

  • marionics

    lliven up the masses???????

    yan ang utos ni pope sa mga pari????

    di man lang tigilan niyo na ang pangmomolestya niyo sa mga bata???

    hahaha

    • txtman

      ANG KASALANAN NG ISA AY KASALANAN NG LAHAT?
      GANOON BA?
      TATAY MO MANYAKIS
      ERGO, TIGILAN MO NA PAGIGING MORONIC MANYAK MO
      PITIFUL

      • marionics

        hay naku texas troll, you are out of your league chong. you are not smart enough to insult me. you have no wit or humor. all you say is pitiful. try the other lowlifes pare. you are just laughable to me.

  • Diepor

    I agree, normally I will fell asleep during mass.

  • juanibarra

    Parang ung pari sa isang simbahan sa angeles- si paring musni. Pinabinyag namin sa kanya ang aming anak at imbes na binyag ang maging sentro ng okasyon, pinagsesermon niya kaming magasawa kung bat daw di pa kami kasal sa simbahan- pinahiya kami sa mga ninong at ninang. Napakakupal muntik ko ng binugbog ang hinayupak.

  • Islander

    I want my priest to give a song-and-dance number right after the sermon, to jiggle me back from sleep.

    • txtman

      AHHH, GANON BA?
      PUNTA KA SA PERYAHAN
      OR SA MGA BORN AGAINST KA NA LANG
      OR BETTER ATTEND KA RALLY NG MGA POLITIKO
      OR SA IGLESIA NI MANALO, IIYAK-IYAK KA PA DOON (MAGDALA KA NG PALANGGANA AT KUMOT)
      KUNG MATUTULOG KA SA SIMBAHAN
      WAG KA NA LANG MAGISING
      THE BEST YAN SA IYO
      PITIFUL

      • Islander

        Perhaps if the priest starts the mass with gymnastic exercises, the parishioners would not be too sleepy. Let’s liven up, kiddo.

  • Mang Teban

    Pope Francis says to priests “to liven the masses” which is a candid way to saying that priests need to communicate effectively to the people inside the Eucharistic celebration.

    At the Last Supper, Christ instituted two sacraments – the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Thus, the pope gave this reminder to priests in remembrance of what Jesus said to this apostles on his final meal. Also, on Holy Thursday, priests receive a renewal of their holy orders in what is called the “chrism mass.” It was, therefore, apt for the pope to give instructions to priests to engage the faithful so that the celebration of Jesus’ sacrifice. It has more significance as when the lay people understand of the Christ’s death on the Cross for the redemption of our sins resembles the lamb sacrifice by the Jews before their flight out of Egypt led by Moses and Aaron – that those who painted their “two doorposts and lintel of the house” with the blood of the young, unblemished male lamb or goat will be passed over by the angel of death who shall take the lives of first-born males and first-born animals. (Passover).

    Only when Catholics understand the relationship of the Passover feast to Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, the instruction for priests by Pope Francis can be appreciated to be noteworthy. Without an effective communication by the presiding priest during the mass, the faithful would be detached from the holy sacrifice of Christ Jesus remembered and celebrated repeatedly on every mass. It shall only be a waste to be attending a mass when your attention is away from it. The pope realizes that it also takes the presiding priest to lead and enliven the mass for people to focus on the mass and receive fully the blessings that come from God during this highest form of worship.

    See how nasty comments in this forum stray away from the objective of the pope to make Eucharistic celebrations Christ-centered. What can you expect from anti-Christ people who grab every opportunity to attack the Church like jackals, wolves,and hyenas ever salivating to pounce and kill their prey?

  • Noel

    The Pope’s call is especially directed to our Priests in Manila who often talk about unrelated stories and even politics in their sermons.

    • txtman

      AHAHAHAHA
      BAKA HINDI KA NAKIKINIG?
      OR SADYANG YELLOW LAPDOG KA LANG?
      IKAW NA LANG KAYA MAGKWENTO?
      NEXT TIME ITO GAWIN MO
      PRAY TO BE ENLIGHTENED
      AND USE YOUR BRAIN
      PITIFUL

      • txtman SUPOTiful Bading

        AHAHAHAY
        PAPA WHERE’S MY GIFT
        PURO KA SALITA
        PARANG MGA PARI DITO SA PILIPINAS
        MGA BAKLANG KAMPON NI TXTMAN
        IKAW DAPAT YUNG MAGDASAL SA DIOS MO
        HUMINGI KA NG KAUNTI PANG BRAIN
        SUPOTIFUL

      • txtman

        OH, GIFT MO GALING KAY PENOY
        CHOCOLATE CONDOM
        ALAM KO FAV MO YAN !
        NGUYA NA!
        TAMA TALAGA ANG KASABIHAN
        “MAHIRAP MAWALA ANG MASAMANG DAMO”
        GALING NG BACKER MONG SI TANING, AH
        ATHEIST/LEFTIST!!!
        PWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
        PITIFUL

      • txtman SUPOTiful Bading

        AHAHAHAY
        PAPA TXTMAN
        ANG LIKOT NG IMAGINATION MO TALAGA
        “CHOCOLATE CONDOM”
        WOW! PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION MO BA ITO?
        MAHILIG KA PALA SA CONDOM NA MAY CHOCOLATE
        HINUGOT GALING WETPAX KAYA MAY CHOCOLATE?
        BADINGSKI KA TALAGA PAREHO TAYO
        AHAHAHAHAY
        SUPOTIFUL

      • Crazy_horse101010

        hypocrite

      • tarikan

        May nabasa akong article ng isang psychologist kung saan nabanggit nya yong mga nagtetext or nage-email in upper case letters. Dominante raw ang ganung klasen tao. Well, in fairness hindi lahat but majority daw. I hope I’m incorrect in your case.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        what does god say about racism pitiful

  • marienkind

    The 3PM mass of San Isidro Pasay is pretty fun. It’s aimed mostly at kids so there’s not much politics involved. There are games and video presentations that make the Homily easier to understand while at the same time entertaining. Another one’s the 5PM mass in the Harisson Plaza Chapel. The priest there sounds like he’s a frustrated standup comedian so he cracks more jokes than actually delivering homily. Because of this the homily tends to last 20 minutes long sometimes, but his crowd only grows as the homily drags on. My GF who’s stopped hearing mass sometime ago has started hearing them regularly again because of these two schedules so I kind of agree with the Pope here.

  • txtman SUPOTiful Bading

    AHAHAHAY
    ANG PITIFUL HUWAD NA BADING
    AY ANDITO NA NAMAN
    TXTMAN IS MY NAME
    AND DEFENDING GOD THROUGH INSULTS IS MY GAME
    PITIFUL
    SUPOTIFUL
    BADINGSKI

  • Vertumnus

    if there’s one thing I have to complain about the church is that it feels like a funeral every single Sunday until I attended a church where the priest was so full energy, upbeat, happy and approachable. The church is always pack during his mass celebration and his homily is so good that you wish it would never end. I see people smiling and laughing when they leave the church. To remember Christ and his teachings shouldn’t be centered solely on saving your soul but also to lift your spirit while you’re still alive. I’ve heard a lifetime of depressing, mundane homilies until I met Father Peter. Pope Francis would get along with Father Peter very well. Keep it going Pope Francis. You are on the right track!

  • gaudiponce

    The Holy Father need to address the issue to all Filipino priests and bishop.. to live a life of simplcity and service to God’s people. Most if not all priest in the Philippines are power and money hungry. Pope Francis need to discuss issues with the Filipino bishops. In my diocese.. the priests when they attend their deanery meetings are talking about their new cars, investments, lands, buildings and apartments they own, and resorts. What is this? I know that diocesan priests do not take a vow of poverty like the religious.. but they have to be prudent. How would you feel being poor seeing your priest driving around a sporty SUV. Priests in my diocese says they care for the poor or the less fortunate.. that has to be seen. Tama na ang pabongahan, tama na ang pa sosyalan. stick to the vocation of truly being the agents for God. Cardinal Tagle urges the priests to be humble and simple which is the true essence of Evangelization. They have to live their talk or walk their talk… dahil talk is cheap. They preach about love, care and give alms to the poor, but do they practice them. I wanted to see drastic changes in my church. Have the priests and bishop submit ASSETS AND LIABILITIES STATEMENT… at diyan magkakaalaman. and to those SSSP’s ( Sip Sip Sa Pari )parishioners please open your eyes. They are not gods, Jesus didnt like that.. read your bible.. Thank you.

  • rickysgreyes

    Communication 101: K.I.S.S. keep it short sir! Applies to sermons too. Priests who have 5-10 minute sermons get the message thru the most!

    • tarikan

      Right on, Mr. Ricky. Keep it short. Homilies (pardon me Lord for I don’t know what I’m saying) should be like a young woman in a bikini: Long enough to cover the fundamentals, short enough to show the subject.

  • brunogiordano

    ““A good priest is recognized by the way his people are anointed. For example, when they leave mass looking as if they had heard good news,” he said, before blessing a silver urn full of oil.”

    Sa Pilipinas halos wala ng mga GOOD PRIEST at BISHOPS.

    Kaya pag maguumpisa na ang SERMON ang mga tao ay nagaalisan na dahil ito ay hudyat na tapos na ang misa.

    Ang good news lang sa mga pari at obispo, may ilan pa rin mga maka-DAMASO na nagtitiyagang makinig sa kanila.

  • Philcruz

    They are so filled with anger and venom. They exude negativity. Too political. They turn people away. Our Catholic priests and bishops should listen to the Pope.

    The sermons are the only part of the mass that I consider really significant. The rest is all repetitive and monotonous. So the Pope is correct. They had better improve their sermons in order to keep parishioners from walking out..and wandering off into other religions.

  • pakita_ko_sayo

    txtman…………kaya pala txtman………too many hours on your hand, iho……………..comments

    3217

    votes

    2607

  • WAJ

    Sana ituro nila (mga Pare) ang tituto ni Jesus. Lumabas sila sa kumbento at makipagusap sa mga tao. Pabayaan na lang nila ang politico. Kasi ang pamahalaan ay trabaho ng Politiko at ang pagkila sa dios ay trabaho ng pare.

  • TinimbangNgunitKulang

    Marami kasing pari na sobrang bilib sa sarili. They are more concerned about porma rather than substance. Conscious about their English and accent and trying hard to impress by using big words kahit nagiging incoherent na ang sermon at kung saan saan napupunta na walang sense ang sinasabi. Stop being in love with yourselves and start loving your flock!

  • Be Nice

    Kung magagawa ng bawat pari na bumisita sa kahit isang pamilya bawat linggo (52 families a year) para makipag “bonding”, or just to reach out, ay malaking tulong na magkaroon sila ng idea kung ano ang issue na dapat nilang isermon, in general, sa mga sumisimba sa linggo. In short, magiging relevant at kapakipakinabang ang sermon nila sa kanilang mga parishioner.

    • tarikan

      At dun na rin makipag-almusal, lunch and dinner. Laking tipid sa kumbento yan. Ang iba ibig pang makipag-barik may mga kasamang alalay/sakristan.

      • Be Nice

        I agree at hindi imposible ang sinasabi mo lalo kung medyo blanko ang isip mo sa magandang ibubunga ng suggestion ko. At ang suggestion kong ito ay , and I know you know it, a COLLOQUIUM.

  • speedstream2

    With due respect, many priests just rehash the gospel and readings, which makes for pretty long-winded, boring homilies. Others go the pa-cute route. Very few come up with really substantive homilies that inspire or at least make the laity think and relate the contents of the homilies with their everyday lives. This reminder from Pope Francis I is a very timely one. Here’s hoping it will not fall on deaf ears. Well, we’ll know soon enough in the next mass we attend.

  • ΗΔΡΡΥ Яiα ✯

    I totally agree with Pope Francis in encouraging the priests to conduct their masses with heartiness most particularly when saying their homily. I have to admit that other christian leaders tend to attract more followers because of their dynamism when preaching. People are inspired to listen when the preacher shows more energy and animation in their speech. I am a devout catholic but I do watch other religious sectors preach on TV. I always say to myself that I wish all priests will think of ways (their own special way) to liven up their homilies. Thank you God for delivering your message through Pope Francis.

  • mikerocky

    Bless you Pope Francis for stressing this point. A lot of priest just goes through the motion of performing their sacramental duties without zeal or religious fervor, and this does not go unnoticed with the faithful. Although we pray for our priests to be better, we likewise pray for them them to please do strive to be contemporary and touch our hearts with the Holy Spirit. The faithful knows who are immersed in the Spirit and those who would seem to require more time with the Spirit. God bless.

  • Aida Ramos

    The pope is right. Many priests especially those in remote towns celebrate the mass unprepared with their homilies. But not only enliven the mass, the priest should set examples on the observance of Christian principles, values and beliefs outside the church. Unification of the Catholic community through Christian actions and cooperation must be encouraged and inspired.

  • siegfeil

    Excellent!!!! This is one weakness of the Catholic church the ‘lackluster priest’ . For me the Homily is the most important part of the mass. I enjoy hearing the good news and how the priest will talk about it in relation to current times.

  • isidro c. valencia

    Pope Francis is saying, “My son, my priest, reach out your people and leave that ivory tower. Leave that Crosswinds and Adventure. Touch the ground, kiss the earth and wash our people feet.”

  • virgoyap

    Just yesterday I saw a priest washing feet to twelve of well to do people. I was searching if there was even one of them who belonged to the lower bracket. Sadly I didn’t find one. I think it defeats the purpose to liven up masses.

  • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

    Let’s cut the crap and get to the basics first, shall we?

    Is there even a god? Or is it just a figment of the imagination of the people a long time ago that none in the history was able to shake off?

  • Lolo_Basyong

    Exactly what the church needs! “Born Agains’ and other evangelicals are winning adherents because they project more ‘zeal’ closed-eye devotion. Hehehehehehe… Most Filipino priests need to be more engaged. Abroad, Catholic masses are solemn and touching and memorable. Makes you look forward to Sunday services.

  • JosengSisiw1

    The Pope should encourage Cardinal Tagle to work on abolishing CBCP. This elitist organization is too tainted that most of the Bishops’ are busy depending themselves & their past deeds instead of working to reach their flocks, especially the poor.

  • Yobhtron

    Right on the mark! Many churchgoers go outside the church during homily to smoke and chitchats, they only go back to their seats after the homily. Many priests do not know how to preach and sadly more priests do not practice what they preach. Hell-o Damaso!

  • askal2u

    Why can’t the Filipino priests and bishops follow their pope’ example of living a simple and poor life like Francis of Assissi. Instead, they are living in luxury and even asked Gloria Aroyko for SUVs and good vacation package while many Catholic followers in the Philippines are dying of hunger. They even want their followers to have more children so they can get more tithe from the masses to support their vices and boy toys especially those pedophile and homosexual priests.

  • kismaytami

    Masarap kasing matulog kapag homily at walang kakuwenta-kuwenta ang mga kwento ni padre damaso sa kanyang pulpito.

  • Lauro

    Sing the PSALM while praising the Lord … this, for sure, will increase the electricity (BILL) between the church goers … no doubt, the (E)PIRA collections will increase … the church goers will stay awake … but then … attending mass is suppose to be refreshing???

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