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Rekindle the Gift of God

A Handbook for Priestly Life

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"Rekindle the gift of God that is within you", Saint Paul urges Timothy years after his ordination (2 Tim 1:6). 

Drawing on sixty years of experience as a Catholic priest, Cistercian Fr. Roch Kereszty provides realistic spiritual, psychological, and pastoral guidance to priests and seminarians—from preaching and sacramental ministry, to parish life and spiritual direction, to chastity and poverty.

Countless priests struggle to understand their role and identity in the post-conciliar Church, where laypeople have taken on many responsibilities once considered priestly. With the sexual abuse crisis kicking up a cloud of confusion and discouragement, many young men are wondering, "Why join a system in which everyone is suspect?" Meanwhile, without the right guidance, those already ordained can find themselves slipping into boredom—or even cynicism.

But Fr. Kereszty knows the fire of a true vocation. With insights and examples from St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and many others, Rekindle the Gift of God helps priests and seminarians discover or rediscover their mission as shepherds, prophets, and teachers. A happy priest is one who lays down his life not only for his flock, but for his Lord. Father Kereszty gives patient, down-to-earth counsel on putting this ideal into practice, and he offers a glimpse of his own immense joy and gratitude for the gift of serving Jesus Christ.

Fr. Roch Kereszty, O.Cist.

Fr. Roch Kereszty, O.Cist., was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1933, during Communist rule. He escaped to Rome to study theology and was ordained a priest in 1960. He earned his doctorate from the Benedictine University Sant'Anselmo and taught theology for fifty-six years at the University of Dallas and the Cistercian Preparatory School. He lives and works as a spiritual director at the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, where he served as the novice master between 1975 and 2010. He has authored or edited fourteen books. 

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"A work both profound and practical in the guidance it provides. No priest will want to be without this wonderful volume."
— Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P., Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican City

"A beautiful book. Wise and practical insight for living the priesthood in the twenty-first century."
— Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., Founding Editor-in-Chief, Magnificat

"There is no wasted space in this book. Open it to any page, and you will find spiritual direction, consolation, apologetics, and lectio divina all rolled into one. Fr. Kereszty's book has already done me immeasurable good as a priest and as a Christian."
— Fr. J. Augustine Wetta, O.S.B., Author, Humility Rules; Director of Vocations, St. Louis Abbey

"Rekindle the Gift of God covers a wide range of pertinent and controversial subjects related to the sacraments, doctrinal clarity, and personal spirituality. Every seminarian in the country should own a copy."
— Fr. Donald Haggerty, Author, The Contemplative Hunger

"This work will contribute to the internal renewal of clergy and the fruitfulness of their ministries. Unique and timely."
— Kathleen Beckman, President, Foundation of Prayer for Priests; Author, Praying for Priests 

"This book needs to be consulted as one would a steady friend or comrade in arms. A guidebook that keeps one on the true path."
— Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., Professor of Spiritual Theology, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

"A masterpiece on the ministerial priesthood. It will set aflame the heart of the dispirited priest while ennobling and raising the bar of the priest already set on becoming a saint."
— Kevin Wells, Author, Priest and Beggar: The Heroic Life of Venerable Aloysius Schwartz 

"Fr. Kereszty fans the flame of the gift of the priesthood. This book is the fruit of years of dedicated study and ministry grounded in reality, the Bible, and hope in God."
— Anthony Lilles, Ph.D., Academic Dean, St. Patrick’s Seminary, San Francisco Archdiocese