The Pope meeting with young priests in Rome The Pope meeting with young priests in Rome  (Vatican Media)

Pope meets with young Roman priests: “Do not tire of doing good”

Pope Francis continues his series of meetings with the clergy of his diocese, speaking with a group of recently-ordained priests about pastoral issues.

By Salvatore Cernuzio

This was the Pope’s second meeting with clergy from Rome, after the one on May 14 with priests who have been in ministry for 40 years and more.

Today, the Pope met with newly ordained priests, those who have been serving for less than ten years.

The encounter was hosted by the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, an order of religious sisters, and the Pope received an affectionate welcome from the nuns, amidst greetings, gifts, and blessings.

Then, a closed-door dialogue with the priests on pastoral issues, which began with a prayer written by Pope Paul VI.

Welcome from the nuns

“Thank you, thank you. How many novices do you have?”. The Pope immediately began conversing with five nuns, both Italian and foreign.

It was hard to hear the exchange because loud applause had already erupted from inside upon spotting the white cassock.

All the nuns, with the older members of the community in the front row, many in wheelchairs, were lined up in the pews ready to greet the Pope.

Greetings and Gifts

Francis made a double round to shake hands with everyone, then received a white balloon – like those hanging outside the entrance of the house – from a child, to whom he then gave his blessing, along with a sweet.

Taking a basket, the Pontiff also distributed sweets to the nuns. One shouted, “Your Holiness, today I turn 84. Will you bless me?”

The Pope placed his hand on the head of an elderly nun who whispered something in his ear while holding his hands.

Dialogue with the priests

“Thank you for your words,” the Pope said, looking at the large group in the chapel. “I give you my greetings and blessings. Do not tire of doing good!”

The Pope received a chasuble and a book from the Pious Disciples, who celebrated their centenary in February.

Entering the Church dedicated to Jesus the Divine Master, the Pope was greeted by the young priests (also with loud applause). Some, explained Bishop Michele Di Tolve, delegate for the care of the diaconate, clergy, and religious life, were ordained as recently as 2024.

Francis opened the meeting with a prayer and the reading of the day’s Gospel.

After that, the closed-door Q&A session, mainly concerning pastoral issues, began.

Meetings in his diocese

Today’s meeting is the second with the clergy of the Pope's diocese.

From September 2023 until early May, he made a tour of the various prefectures of Rome to meet parish priests and prefects and hear from them the challenges, difficulties, beauties, and gratifications of their work.

All this in a diocese that, as the Argentine Pontiff has often said, has become a “mission territory.”

This is something that – and it is the Pope himself who has repeated this on various occasions – “is always very good for a bishop.”

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29 May 2024, 18:47