- St. John Vianney, Patron Saint of Priests
"With God's help, you will continue to succeed in your leadership and in your duties, because Our Lord's work is accomplished not so much by the multitude of workers as by the fidelity of the small number whom He calls."
- St. Vincent de Paul
"I will give you shepherds after my own heart" (Jer 3:15). In these words from the prophet Jeremiah, God promises his people that he will never leave them without shepherds to gather them together and guide them: "I will set shepherds over them [my sheep] who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed" (Jer 23:4).
The Church, the People of God, constantly experiences the reality of this prophetic message and continues joyfully to thank God for it. She knows that Jesus Christ himself is the living, supreme and definitive fulfilment of God's promise: "I am the good shepherd" (Jn 10:11). He, "the great shepherd of the sheep" (Heb 13:20), entrusted to the Apostles and their successors the ministry of shepherding God's flock (cf. Jn 21:15ff.; 1 Pt 5:2).
Without priests the Church would not be able to live that fundamental obedience which is at the very heart of her existence and her mission in history, an obedience in response to the command of Christ: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28:19) and "Do this in remembrance of me" (Lk 22:19; cf. 1 Cor 11:24), i.e., an obedience to the command to announce the Gospel and to renew daily the sacrifice of the giving of his body and the shedding of his blood for the life of the world.
(St. Pope John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis: I Will Give You Shepherds)
"Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community." (CCC 1549)
"I will always welcome joyfully any opportunity that comes my way to be of service to you."