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Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
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What Makes A Perfect Priest?

Jeffrey Bruno

William Van Ornum - published on 05/19/14

As described in the book The New Men, when Cardinal Dolan of New York was Director of the North American College in Rome during the mid-1990s, he used an extremely direct and straightforward method for determining this.

Long before their graduation, Dolan brought the seminarians together and asked questions such as: “‘Do you have any issues regarding masturbation? Do you read any kind of pornography, even a little bit? Do you have any current relationships with women or men that has a sexual component?  If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these, you may leave now and no one will think any the less of you.” Dolan set expectations for the present and the future simply, clearly, and in an accountable manner.

Turning back for guidance to the real experts, Mr. and Mrs. Azah, I learn of the critical role of the family in nurturing a good priest.

We think that a good and sound family background is the prerequisite of all vocations in life,” said the Azahs,

and the priesthood is no exception. Parents who are united and take their faith commitments seriously would be instilling such a faith into their children since children learn from their parents whilst growing up. Our commitment to the Church and prayer is the result of God calling our son to become a priest in the Catholic Church.

We shall advise all parents to play their roles well as responsible parents not shying away from their roles or allowing their children to be on their own in their tender age; because when children are well-trained and given the necessary tools of life and a solid Christian foundation, they will do well in life; and most especially, they will become wonderful priests for the Church of God.

William Van Ornum is professor of psychology at Marist College and director of research and development/grants at American Mental Health Foundation in New York City. He studied theology and scripture at DePaul University.

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