The word is powerful. We Catholics live our faith and celebrate the sacraments through and with priests. For most of us, saints and sinners, regularly practicing or sporadically attending, our experience of Catholicism is inextricably tied to our experience of priests.
"Between the everyday and the eternal"
You don't have to be a Catholic to know that priests play an indispensable yet mysterious role in mediating the sacred and profane, of witnessing to the extraordinary in the special, yet ordinary, moments of everyday life.
A changing way of life for priests
On the one hand, the core role of the priest is clear and never-changing. On the other, there has been a dramatic change in what priests do and in the presence of priests within the Catholic Church in the United States.