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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward a doctorate in liturgical theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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“After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the givenness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West.”
— Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

A Priest's Litany of Thanksgiving
published 17 April 2014 by Fr. David Friel

OT LONG AGO, I posted a catalog of saints who were artists, drawn from a series published in Magnificat, the monthly companion to the sacred liturgy utilized by many members of our Church. Today, with the express permission of the editors, I am pleased to present another wonderful piece from Magnificat. Composed by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., editor-in-chief, this Litany of Thanksgiving is intended for devotional use by priests, who celebrate the institution of our vocation of service today, Holy Thursday.

A Priest’s Litany of Thanksgiving

R./ Lord, you know that I love you.

For instituting the holy priesthood, R./
For setting me apart to work for the Kingdom of God, R./
For the privilege of serving your holy Church, R./
For the grace of preaching, R./
For the honor of pasturing your people, R./
For the capacity to teach the faith, R./
For the power to baptize, R./
For the honor of being able to witness marriages, R./
For the joy of bringing healing to the sick and consolation to the dying, R./
For the miracle of being able to say, “This is my Body,” R./
For the wonder of the words, “I absolve you from your sins,” R./
For all the ways I act in persona Christi, R./
For making me a man of prayer, R./
For consecrating my hands for sacrifice, R./
For priestly paternity, R./
For proposing me, despite my unworthiness, as an example of holiness, R./
For making me capable of offering pastoral counseling, R./
For priestly fraternity, R./
For the strength you provide in times of trial and distress, R./
For the desire to reach out to the poor and the alienated, R./
For priestly compassion, tenderness, and generosity, R./
For transforming me in my weakness and sins, R./
For helping me to live in unfailing dependence upon you, R./
For making me ardent in self-sacrificing love, R./
For the presence of Jesus that radiates from my fatherhood, R./
For the grace to be able to generate others, R./
For the ability to feed your sheep, R./
For making me an instrument of grace, R./
For every host that I have distributed in Holy Communion, R./
For the gift of holy celibacy, R./
For my love of Mary, Mother of priests, R./
For creating the priesthood to be the love of the heart of Jesus, R./
For the divine commission to sanctify others, R./
For the inestimable grace of being an alter Christus, R./
For the countless graces with which you bless my life, R./

On the day of my priestly ordination I declared that:
•I am resolved, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to discharge without fail the office of the priesthood in the presbyteral order as a conscientious fellow worker with the bishops in caring for the Lord’s flock;
•I am resolved to celebrate the mysteries of Christ faithfully and religiously as the Church has handed them down to us, for the glory of God and the sanctification of Christ’s people;
•I am resolved to exercise the ministry of the word worthily and wisely, preaching the Gospel and explaining the Catholic Faith.

Most merciful Father, as I prepare to celebrate the institution of the priesthood on Holy Thursday, please strengthen my resolve and perfect my efforts to live as another Christ, always thankful for my priesthood and for the supreme privilege of serving God’s people in holiness. I ask you this united to Jesus Christ, the great High Priest. Amen.

(With permission of Magnificat, Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P., Monthly Vol. 16, No. 1 / Holy Week 2014).