In a recent interview with Vatican News, Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-sik, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Clergy, began by stating, “Dear brother priests, I remember you every day in my prayers.”
The interview preceded a conference in Rome from February 6-10, with over 1,000 experts from 60 countries.
Cardinal You Heung-sik stressed the importance of ongoing formation for priests post-ordination, stating, “It is crucial that priests are not left alone but are accompanied.”
Acknowledging the challenges priests face, he added, “Many priests today feel lonely and isolated.” The conference, he noted, provides an opportunity for priests to “share their lives” and “go forward together.”
Cardinal You Heung-sik shared details about another initiative, the “Parish Priests for the Synod” meeting.
Sponsored by the Dicastery for the Clergy and the General Secretariat of the Synod, the event will gather 300 parish priests globally for five days of “listening, prayer, and discernment.”
He remarked, “This meeting responds to concerns raised in the First Session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2023.”
Emphasizing the need for active involvement in the synodal process, he said, “A synodal Church cannot do without their voices, experiences, and contribution.”
Scheduled from April 28 to May 2, 2024, near Rome, the meeting will contribute to the working document for the Second Session of the Synodal Assembly in October 2024.
Cardinal You Heung-sik concluded, “Findings from this meeting will be considered, ensuring the synodal process reflects valuable perspectives of our parish priests.”