3. Is prayer
always easy for you?
Not always! Even those of us incontemplative life—whose ministryis prayer—go through dry spellswhen our prayer time seems dullor uneventful. As we grow in ourexperience of prayer we learn howto adjust to these changes. We oftendepend on the support of our communities or the help of a spiritualdirector (who serves as a guide) tohelp us keep praying during difficulttimes. Those of us who are parishpriests have our parish communities and our fellow priests to lead ustoward prayer even when we’d rathernot be bothered. We try to be faithfuleven when we don’t feel like it.
4. What’s the difference
between a diocesan priest and
a religious priest?
A diocesan priest ordinarily servesthe church within a geographic areacalled a diocese. He usually servesthe people as a parish priest, but hemay also be involved in many otherforms of ministry like teaching, hospital ministry, campus ministry, orprison ministry.
A religious priest is a member
of a religious congregation whose
ministry goes beyond the geographic
limits of any diocese. A religious
priest seeks to live a life of poverty,
celibacy, and obedience within a
community of men. The community
shares a common vision and spiritu-
ality and often emphasizes a particu-
lar type of ministry.
5. What’s the difference
between a brother and a priest?
A brother commits himself to Christby the vows of poverty, celibacy,and obedience. He usually lives in areligious community and works in aministry that suits his talents and gifts.
A brother might be a teacher, electrician, cook, lawyer, technician, parishminister, or artist. He tries to live hisfaith by being a “brother” to others.
A priest is ordained for a distinctive role as a minister of the sacraments. He celebrates the Eucharistand witnesses marriages, baptizesbabies and adults, and brings God’shealing presence to people throughthe sacraments of Penance andAnointing of the Sick. He is involvedin a variety of other works as well—most often parish-related—but sacramental life is his special ministry.
6. What’s the difference
between a sister and a nun?
Although people use these terms
interchangeably, a sister is a woman
who belongs to an apostolic, or ac-
tive, religious order that is dedicated
to ministry, such as education, jus-
tice, healthcare, parish work, advo-
cacy, or social service. By contrast, a
nun is a sister who belongs to a con-
ally consists of Mass, silent prayer
(called contemplation), reading, and
praying the psalm-based Liturgy of
the Hours (an ancient practice of
praying psalms together at regular
hours throughout the day).
2. How important
is prayer in your life?
Because we’ve chosen a way of lifethat says God is most important,prayer is central to our lives. Thinkof it as a deep level of communication with God, similar to the kindof communication that happens between any two people who love eachother. Our relationship with Godgrows and deepens with prayer.
Since prayer is important, manypriests, sisters, and brothers spendabout two hours a day praying. Partof that time we pray with others atMass. We also pray other formalprayers like the Liturgy of the Hoursor the Rosary, or spend time withothers less formally reading andreflecting on readings from the Bible.
Part of the time we also pray alone,perhaps reading or just being quietwith God. One of the positive effectsof prayer, whatever shape it takes, isto keep us aware of God’s activity inthe people, events, and circumstances of daily life.
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