Many better writers than I are commenting on the Year of the Priest and so I want to mark the start of this wonderful year by recalling a simple enough event of the day.
We have, as a community, begun praying at morning office for all priests and by name one of the Birmingham Priests. 19 June was Canon Allport. The key moment, for me, of the day was when, during the Mass with the year 6 pupils, four of our resident staff stepped forward after the homily, gathered around the Altar, and committed their lives to the service of the people of God.
You couldn't ask for anything more exquisite than to see four grown men give up everything to follow Jesus and to show that most especially in the way they minister to his body on earth, the Church. You want to know what priesthood is? Well, it's that. Nothing more and nothing less. In their simple, everyday action and words they became more perfectly configured to Christ.
God bless you reverend fathers.