Father Williams: Healthy priests is formation goal

| January 19, 2011 | 0 Comments

Father Williams

Father Peter Williams said that his new position as the Institute for Ongoing Clergy Formation director “compliments the work I have been doing with vocations the past three years.”

As vocations director at the St. Paul Seminary, he built up trust with the men preparing for the priesthood.

He plans to continue those relationships through a series of gatherings at least three times each year with newly ordained priests.

A need for boundaries

One issue he wants to address for new priests is their enthusiasm.

Often, they are so enthusiastic that they don’t establish limits on their time and people take more than anyone can give, said Father Williams, who learned from his grandmother that “No” is a full sentence.

“The goal is healthy, happy, human priests,” he said. “Hopefully, their relationship with Jesus never gets lost.”

Father Williams said he looks for guidance from Pope Benedict XVI, who said priests need to find a way to live in community.

“Priesthood is not meant to be lived in isolation,” he added.

By gathering groups of former seminary classmates together for a presentation, dinner and camaraderie, the priests will have an opportunity to talk about their challenges and joys.

Father Williams said he is pleased that Father Troy Przybilla was chosen to replace him as vocations director.

The right choice

“To be a good vocations director you don’t have to be someone other than who you are,” he said. “I think the archbishop made the right choice.”

Father Przybilla takes time to go fishing with his dad and have dinner with friends and fellow priests Father Williams said. “If it’s perceived as a value, it happens.”

He is also glad that his office will be just down the hall from Father Przybilla’s office, so he will be available to answer the many questions that are sure to come up.

“For the first six months I had [former vocations director] Father Tom Wilson on speed dial,” he said with a laugh.

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Category: Vocations