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Foreword by Archbishop Raymond Burke
St. John Vianney is the patron saint of all parish priests. Pope Benedict XVI has held him up as the role model to follow in the recently declared Year for Priests (2009-2010). Priests and seminarians who wish to strengthen their commitment to the priesthood as well as men who are discerning the call of Christ in their lives will be inspired and encouraged by reflection on the life and vocation of the great Curé of Ars.
Fr. Miller has taken many groups of priests and seminarians on pilgrimage to Ars, France, where he leads retreats based on the life and ministry of St. John Vianney. Based on his years of personal experience at Ars, and the impact that the holy Curé has had on men who go there to learn from his inspiring life and work, this book is the distillation of wisdom and grace that St. John Vianney has passed on to his brother priests.
Through beautiful reflections that focus on many aspects of the life of Vianney, we learn what it means to be a priest during difficult times. The saint lived out his priesthood in the aftermath of the French Revolution; a very difficult time for Catholic priests in France. This book reveals that specific Grace of Ars.
Including eight pages of color illustrations, this is a treasury of spiritual wisdom that will take you along on a pilgrimage to the very place where St. John Vianney labored so long and so heroically for the good of souls and the love of God, often in direct battle with Satan. The reader will have the experience of making a retreat in the presence of the saintly Curé, and be able to ponder the Grace of Ars, in particular what he has to say to his fellow priests of the twenty-first century; another difficult time for those who seek to be faithful to their promises to God and build up the Church of Christ.
Laymen will find in this reflection on St. John Vianney a model parish priest who will inspire all to love the priesthood and pray for the sanctification of all priests. Through his holy example the Curé of Ars will help all understand that the priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus.
"The task of viewing the priesthood through the prism of St. John Vianney's life and ministry could not have fallen into more adroit hands than those of Fr. Miller, whose success as a seminary professor and spiritual director of priests has been phenomenal."
- Msgr. James Turro, Immaculate Conception Seminary, Contributor, Magnificat
" A wonderful invitation to learn more about this saintly model for priests. This book is a weaving of inspiration and practical application that enkindles a renewed dedication and commitment to the priesthood. It is a powerful, yet gentle reminder that the priest, who ministers to a thirsty flock, is also thirsting for the flowing waters that only Jesus Christ can supply.
This work offers us a fresh perspective into the beloved Cure of Ars as well as a timely insight into the priesthood and what is essential for renewal. A valuable inspiration for those already ordained, and a marvelous elucidation of the priesthood for the laity and especially for those considering their own response to Christ's call to serve in His sacred priesthood."
- Rt. Rev. Charles Wright, O.S.B. Abbot, Prince of Peace Abbey
Fr. Frederick L. Miller, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, is the Chairman of the Department of Systematic Theology at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He has extensive parish experience and has spent nearly twenty years as a seminary professor and spiritual director. Fr. Miller is an author and a well-known retreat master.
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