A Parish Priest is called to care for all the people living in his parish in the spirit of Jesus the Lord. He is to celebrate the Mass for and with the people so as to ensure that this is the centre of parish life. He is to strive to lead them in prayer, including prayer in their families, and to take a live and active part in the Sacred Liturgy. He is to preach the Word of God in its entirety and to nourish the people by the fitting celebration of the Sacraments.
A Parish Priest should know his people, by visiting them in their homes, by sharing their joys and anxieties and by his awareness of the situation in which they must live out their discipleship of Our Lord.
With the help of the people, he is to encourage and raise up those who have ceased to live in its abundance the life offered by Our Lord. He is to care for the deep formation of every member of the body of Our Lord, but especially the young, the handicapped, the disadvantaged and those who are burdened.
‘You could have two hundred angels there and they cannot pardon you. But a priest, as simple as he may be, can do it. He can say to you: ‘Go in peace, I forgive you.’ Oh, how the priesthood is something wonderful! A priest will only be understood in heaven…If we understand him on earth, we would die, not of fright, but out of love. The priest is not a priest for himself. It isn’t he who grants absolution. He, himself, doesn’t administer the sacraments. He doesn’t do this for himself, he does it for you. The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.’