fo good morning. on behalf of the archdiocese of san francisco welcome to mosaic. there is a weekly newsletter to goes out to our parishes and schools and institutions and we posed this question to the readers. if you have the opportunity to sit down one on one with a priest, what questions might you have for him? what would you want to know about this man, these men and their unique slowcation and way of life? do you have questions about life, about faith, about lis vocation about your own spiritual condition? you may wonder how do i
overcome my fear of going to confession? or how can i learn to pray? how can i understand the real presence of jesus in the uke wrist or why are so many young people leaving the church and dissatisfied with the faith? we asked for questions to be submitnd and today we have two priests sitting with us to share some answers. promises to be a very interesting discussion. after this brief break, please join me and my guests for ask a priest.
fo hello. welcome to mosaic. my guests today are two priest of the archdiocese of san francisco. we're going to talk about questions that are being submitted to the priests and see what the answers can be. on my left is father kevin kennedy. thank you for being here. on his left is father cameron faller. now, you can see we have a young priest and a slightly older priest. [ laughter ] >> let's find out about their life skills and careers. father faller. >> i have been a priest for four years and currently i'm assigned as the vocation director of san francisco and the priest secretary of are, bishop. >> four years. >> you went to saint patrick's cemete mytheology studies.
>> are you a local product? >> yes. i grew up in marine county, nevado, yes. wonderful. >> father kevin, you know and i think you're from -- aways born in san mateo. >> been a priest for over two decades. >> yes. >> i'm the pastor and help as associate at st. monica and saint apostle parishes as well. >> 20 years, four years. we have a set of questions from people. i want to mix and match them, but one of the major ones was about the recent pugh study, that says that the real presence of christ in the uke wrist which is a teaching of the catholic face-off and the uke rest is the center of what the priest's life is and job 70
prence or not sure about that. that is something i would like you to respond to. is this something that you experience as the priest who is preceding at the uke wrist? >> father faller? >> i would say those studies don't surprise me. when we look out into the pughs the masses we celebrate, it is something we can see in people's faces in terms of their belief or lack of belief and then as a priest the question is what do we need to do to address this. obviously catta key sis is one thing but actions speak louder and words and when you act like you believe, slowly you begin to actually believe more and so as a church i think ifway did a better job acting like we believe in the real presence from the wayway talk about it, the way we act in front celebra
all that would yen right a keeper payment in our people. >> other priests way of performing the litter gy. >> he is not an actor informing something he doesn't believe because you can't fool people. eye have to be a priest who believes that he is acting in the person of christ and that cayce is central to the priesthood. his mission is not to draw people so much to himself but through himself to christ and the encounter with the lord. if he believes what the church believes and teaches in the celebration, the offering of the uke wrist, he believes this
is truly the mystery of christ present, renewed, offered to the father, then he will that for reference through love, you can't fake that. unfortunately, when a priest doesn't celebrate with reference, people pick up on that and they say if he doesn't believe, why should i? so priests are crucial in terms of their focus on their dedication to this central mystery and especially their reverence in the celebration of the mass. >> i guess the priest is what we think of priests doing various tasks and jobs and they can be educators or teaches, but is your central task the saying of the lit ra gy the same of the mass? >> the nature of priesthood is offering sacrifice. a priest offers sacrifice. that is his crucial defining role. others can do academic work and
social work, community organizing, administration, all those can be part of and are to some degree apart of anyone's priesthood but in preaching the gospel, the central role is to offer the sacrifice of the cross, the sack fish shul rolf rest love of the lord and done with love so that community sees christ renewing his offering of himself on behalf of the father. >> i understand that. i can't understand what the real presence is, but i understand the teaching and you're putting me in a special relationship with god himself in that moment. now that -- that is the big sacraments. there is a smaller sacraments of confession which is important in which you the priest put me in touch with god for forgiving my sins. confession. e
hoy do i overcome my fear of going to confection? >> one of the fears, what is the fear? the one of the fear is the priest is going to judge me and if they see me or we're sinners. we know the sins of our past. we know the things we struggle within our own life and that gives us a level of compassion and em fa thy for the person coming to confessionnal. we're there to stand in the place of christ of healing and that is who they are seeking to encounter christ. our job is to get out of the way so christ can speak through us in a sense. so i would say, that is a helpful piece of advice. just know that we are not there to judge. we know the state of or own souls and we know the sins of many people that come to us and so we're not there to judge.
>> on a practical level i might say sometimes easi for peopf find maybe a priest they don't know. >> yes. >> and to go anonymously behind the screen so they don't feel on a human level that sense of trepidation. but whatever circumstances the goal is that they leave with joy, that's what the lord forgives, he forgets and takes away as if it never happened and takes us back to the moment of baptism which is a great, great joy. >> amen to that. we'll come back and talk more about the questions for the priests.
priest. we had an omnibus question come in and a good one i think. what is success for a priest? i know we know what success for a baseball player is. what is success for a priest? and by the same token what is failure? how would a priest fail? we know how a plumber might fail. that is obvious. >> we talked about one of my favorite films, the keys of the kingdom and gregory peck plays a priest who is presume bly a failure in his first two assignments and so he is sent to be a missionary in china. yet, he ends up touching the heart of many people, the lives of many people through his gentleness, humility, authenticity and embodies the best of the priesthood so even though it is a fictional
character he is the best of vincent de paul and so many others who embodied the best of what it is to pattern their lives after the heart of the lord. learn from me for i am gentle and humble of heart. if a person with that kind of a heart touches the soul of another human being, he is a success as a priest. he is a success in what matters to god. yes. recently i have been thinking about success in my priesthood and on one hand i say every single day is successful as father kennedy said a job of a priest is to offer the sabling face of the mass and every single day i do for the father of good and salvation of souls so in a sense i can say every single day for a priest is successful. on another level, what does that mean away from that reality? it is bringing people closer to christ to have people come to
realize christ is the way and life willing to surrender themselves to that life and that would be a success for a priest is to bringing people closer to christ. and it does seem the case that jesus founded this priesthood and named his apostles to be his followers and to bring people to him. i am the way of the truth and the life. it is an ancient tradition you're carrying out, but never new. the person to whom you're bringing people jesus christ looks like a failure but we have a cruise fix to remind us of what? >> remind us that failure and success is not exactly not what we think it might be. from a christian perspective failure in the sense leads to success that god will allow us
to fail. that through our sufferings is actually where our successes or triumphs come so it is a reverse on the wayway normally think of things in society i would say. >> yes. >> and also about your life as a priest, there must be joys and there must be sorrows or difficulties. i was thinking when you were talking about confession, if i have to hear people's sins everyday of the year, i would get a little de pressed. what is your reaction to that? >> that is what many people think. i was saying that when a person has a humble heart which is what god wants from us there is nothing more beautiful than that confession. it doesn't initially the matter the sins in that moment, but when they come with a humble and con treat heart and you can do it through confession, that is one of the greatest joys of a priest i would say. >> and joys, difficulties. what stands out for you? >> i think the greatest joy for
me would be to see the young people who are coming to the churches where father cameron celebrates, where i celebrate, many of whom are converts so they have had to struggle to find their faith in a very secular culture, they have had to sometimes evanneize, khashoggi read the read the fathers of the church and lit ra gis. their courage in finding and persevering in their faith, their hope against, you know, difficult odds, and that belief and that trust that make love, rale love possible in their hearts, love for god and love for one another, they are my greatest joy because they are the future of the church and they are a real future. >> that is good to know. you mentioned young people converting or coming to the church. one of our questions was a concern many people have.
so many young people seem to be leaving the catholic church. can you address that? is this a problem? >> yes, i think we see it when we look out and don't see many young people college age or high school age and many people ask, what are we supposed to d? how do we handle this? a lot of timesway think if things are more entertaining or engaging they think people will come back but i think the young people are searching for god and wife can be a place to find the trans sentence of god, the mystery of god and be touched by god, they will come back. they are seeking for it. i believe we can offer it, but it may not be in the think to engage them witten ter take or things that captivate their interests right away. >> the archdiocese is trying to promote this sense of truth, beauty aodness right now. >> yes. >> and when you begin with the lit ra gy itself that the truth
is being proclaimed in the goodness of the community formed by faith, by home and love and the beauty of sacred war worship and especially on the part of the priest, engaging homilies that this is centrally most important in the future of our christian catholic communities. >> you find joy in the young people that you sea coming in. >> yes, because they are being drawn to all of this. >> wonderful. >> they are not finding this anywhere else this lives. . their lives are empty despite technology, it leads to isolation and they will only find the healing of their loneliness and inner emptiness in a worshipping community. >> i think that is a given.
can i get that from you? >> i was actually in second grade, the year i made my first total communion. my uncle was ordained a most for another die oh sis else where but i was present in the october of 1961 at his ord din nation so this was a magnificent event and high mass was in bering game and i remember being present and ball choir and the family was all present. i thought i think i would like to d that when i grow up, so i had those of other things but when i saw him at the alter, i thought this was a beautiful event and so not centered on the priest but on christ, bringing christ people, people to christ. >> you got that. >> truth, beauty and goodness. >> that as a second grader i wasn't being compelled for theological arguments it was
something i felt as a child at that age. >> that seed can be planted. what about your experience? >> i grew up never wanting to be a priest. if you would have given me ten things in my life, it would have been at the bottom. it changed when i went on a pill graham mag of france. after my freshman year, in a moment of prayer, i thought i never asked good what i wanted him to do with my life and i asked that dangerous question and i felt this deep inspiration and joy to be a priest. definitely a lot of fear but an inspiration and joy that this is how the lord is asking me to give of my life to him and i followed that path to priesthood. how old are you now? >> 31 now. about a decade ago. >> that is wonderful. that is very interesting. so let me ask this question. this program that we're doing now will be broadcast on
november 3rd vocations sunday or vocations awareness sunday. you are the director of the office of vocations for the archdiocese. >> yes. >> in addition to everything else. >> correct. >> so let's talk about are we finding vocations to the priesthood among the young man or how does a young man think about vocation? >> it is a great struggle. we don't have many men in the seminary. it is a big issue. other places of the country are doing better than we are on the west coast but i would say the fundamental crisis is a vocation crisis. there is a lack of people getting married anymore, in the church. it is a realization that our life is a gift that god gave us our life as a gift through our parents and that the us mat and fundamental question is how am i being called to take this life of mine which is a gift and offer it back? that is what a vocation is.
how is god offering me to call my life as a gift? when others realize that is the meaning of life, that is when they will be ready for a vocation of marriage, some other special occasion but i think they have to ask that question first beforeway can even get them on the path of potential priesthood vocation. >> it is interesting you mentioned the marriage right down, too. that is certainly a vocation. i married. there were times when if it weren't my vocation and calling, it would be difficult to fulfill it, but it continues because it is a sacred obligation and regifting of myself to someone else. >> i think the key element is prayer. we pray for vocations because the lord himself asked us to do that. the harvest is a bun dance but the laborers are few so pray to the lord of the har ves. this is going to be aired
later, but ware taping today which happens to be october 15th the feast of saint teresa of jesus. >> okay. >> and she once said prayer is simply a heart to heart conversation with god who we know loves us. a heart to heart conversation to pray for your priests for their sangtive fication, to pray for a future priest, our sem nairence, to ray for those searching for meaning for truth for value for love within their lives that through that prayer, the grace of god might be communicated to them in a way that really touches them and changes them so that they can become a priest like even though he is a fictional character that was in the keys of the kingdom. patterning his life after the heart of the lord, gentle and humble and of service to others, loving service. >> now let me ask this.
are there hero or model or mentored priests that you can recall in your life? >> so one of the priests that have been a great model for me is, he is a saint, saint isaac jog. he gras up in france and came to the new world to bring the faith to the people in he sacrificed out of love for the gospel, the amount he loved his people, that he was trying to communicate the faith to is deeply inspiring. i hope one day to visit his gravesite there in i believe northern new york but he is an inspiration for me recently as a priest and a saint. >> wonderful. i think we have 20, 30 seconds here, so we're going to wrap it up. thank you father faller for coming. father e devin, same thing, always great to talk with you. >> thank you. >> i learned a lot. can we say in closing it is not the most difficult life of all? orway don't want to scare
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