, the Vatican’s Secretary of State has written a letter to the priests of the Catholic Church in the People's Republic of China on the occasion of the Year for Priests.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s letter offered special consideration for the Eucharist.
“In this Year of the Priesthood,” wrote the Cardinal, “I wish to remind you of the source where you can find the strength to be faithful to your important mission, ... the Eucharist. ... A truly Eucharistic community cannot retreat into itself, as though it were self-sufficient, but must stay in communion with every other Catholic community."
Looking to this year’s patron, St. John Vianney, Cardinal Bertone also emphasized the importance of Eucharistic Adoration – an activity of “inestimable value in the life of every priest.”
The Cardinal also offered a number of practical suggestions for priests in China, encouraging them to visit "Catholic and non-Catholic families frequently," to "train good catechists," to foster "greater use of charitable services directed especially to children and to sick and old people," to organize "special gatherings where Catholics could invite their non-Catholic relatives and friends in order to become better acquainted with the Catholic Church and Christian faith," and to distribute "Catholic literature to non- Catholics."
A portion of the letter was addressed specifically to the Bishops and stressed the need for ongoing formation of the clergy, which is of particular importance in a “society as complex as that of present-day China'".
Cardinal Bertone concluded his letter by "entrusting to the Most Blessed Virgin the wish that your priestly life may be guided more and more by those ideals of the total giving of oneself to Christ and to the Church which inspired the thought and action of the saintly 'Cure of Ars'".
For highlights from the address, visit the Vatican Information Service HERE
The letter was published by the Congregation of Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and can be found in its entirety on Zenit HERE