Teresa Elad -Divine Mercy Diocesan President
I can help a priest lead a more holy life by simply praying for him because whatever we do physically or otherwise can only take effect if God blesses it. I always start my day with a prayer for priests and I have been doing this for a long time. Even before the church in Buea Diocese instituted the prayer for priests, which we find in the “PIETA” prayer book, I had mine from “The Catholic Book of Prayers”; which I say everyday.
There are many priests who cannot get another point of view except it is from another priest. This is a weakness. We all need guidance and advice. There are suggestion boxes in some churches because priests have to take time to listen to other people’s opinion. So besides praying for priests, I will not miss an opportunity, like an old Christian and a mother, to meet a priest and politely point out to him what I think is not right. I continue to chat with priests, encourage them on the good work they are doing and also point out what was not well done.
Rosaline Menga Nganku: CWA National President
The first thing I have to do to help a priest is to always pray for him. The priestly vocation is very demanding and priests face a lot of temptations. As shepherds of God’s people, the expectations of the community are quite high. They are human beings like us and also make mistakes. So we are bound to pray for them.
Secondly I think I will not hesitate to advise a priest when I see he needs it. Dialogue with priests should not only be when things are not going on well. When a priest is doing a good job, it is good to encourage him to stay the course. On the other hand, if I find that a priest is making a mistake, I will like a mother and a Christian, talk it out with him. Generally that is the kind of attitude the laity should adopt because most of the time we criticise without knowing neither the truth nor the priest’s point of view.
From my personal experience when you dialogue with priests you discover that most of what was said about them was not true. Another means of helping them is by collaborating with and supporting them in their pastoral activities. We should not expect them to do all the work in the parish. Our duty as Christians is not limited to attending masses but doing more.
James Efon- Catechist
The first thing to help a priest live a more holy life is to pray for him. They are not angels; but are humans like other Christians. So they need prayers to be able to live their priestly vocation. Secondly, when I meet a priest for any spiritual matter, I should be honest with him. If I think the priest has not been living up to expectation, I will meet him personally and with all humility, talk it over with the priest, instead of spending time telling others how bad the priest is which does not help. Like all humans, priests have their strong and weak points.
Noel Djoumessi Anangfac -CMA
Since priests are men of God they need our spiritual assistance through prayers. We can also advise them and be bold enough to meet them and discuss the things we think are not right. I can also be a guide to other Christians because most often Christians fail to carry out their duties and prefer staying behind and complaining about priests. But if we take up the challenge to meet priests in private and discuss issues we believe are not worthy of the priesthood, I think we will go a long way as lay faithful to help priests lead holy lives.
Augustine Akwarandum – CMA
We need to understand that priests are just like every other human being. So if a priest makes a mistake, I will meet him in private and point it out to him. I will not be helping the priest in any way should I choose to go round talking to people about the error. I also have to always pray for them.
Gloria Wiysa’nyuy Birka -Divine Mercy Apostle
Priests have a call and anybody aspiring for the priesthood must have one goal in mind; that of being faithful to God’s will. One way of helping priests lead holy lives is by constantly praying for them to fulfil their vocation. They also need our moral support because any parish in which a priest finds himself becomes his family. So Christians should not isolate them. They also need our financial support, so they can avoid getting money through means that are not in line with their vocation. Praying for them is, however, the most important thing we can do for them.
Theodore Awenti -Holy Trinity Youth Choir
The only way to help priests lead more holy lives is to pray for them. Priesthood is demanding. A lot they do revolve around people and their own spiritual lives. Even though they are Christ’s representatives on earth and carry out God’s work, they also need prayers because if they are not prayed for, they will not be able to cope. Prayers are basically what priests need from Christians.
Christians have a duty to pray to God to guide and direct the daily activities of their priests. They constantly have to implore Jesus’ Divine Mercy for their priests’ transgressions. They should also meet them personally and correct their wrongs, not point them out in public.
Ernest Sallah - Bayelle CFM President
Besides praying for priests, Christians can also advise them when they see priests doing something wrong. Although they are priests, they have their own weaknesses, which if we point out, could help them adjust accordingly. Christians should meet them and verify the things they hear about them before drawing conclusions. It is not enough to conclude a priest is in a motel simply because his car is parked near the motel.
Anthony Yongabi Timtim -BEPHA Bayelle office
For our priests to be holy we need to always obey them so as to set an example for them to also obey their bishops because they have to work in collaboration with their bishops. Obedience is the mainstay of the Priestly vocation and without it a priest will always find himself in difficulties.
As Christians it is our duty to help priests live holy lives. Christian mothers have an important role to play in helping priests. We must counsel our priests by telling them what is not right and helping them keep away from those things that can destroy their vocation such as chasing women, embezzlement and fraud in the Church. We must also pray for them unceasingly. We need to help them avoid temptation because sometimes women seduce them. If you intend visiting a priest and you are a woman, you need to dress decently to avoid making him to sin. As women we need to avoid visiting them at odd hours and we should also stop cooking food and taking to them because they have their own cooks.
As a Christian mother it is important to pray for priests and also pray with them. I belong to the Catholic Women Association and we help priests live holy lives by involving them in our spiritual talks. We need to identify their needs and also take care of them. It is also good to get close to them and identify some of those problems that can lead them to temptation and see how you can help them avoid them.
I believe young people can help priests live holy lives through their own commitment to the Church. If youths embrace the Church and engage in evangelisation just like the priest does, they will be helping the priest to live a holy life. Our youths should also have a positive attitude when they come to Church. This can be done from the kind of dresses they put on. They can help these priests by putting on decent outfits, especially when coming to Church. The Church is made up of the priest and the Faithful. When we come to Church it is for Jesus and therefore we need to have an attitude which will favour the growth of the Church and also help Jesus’ representative, the priest, succeed in his mission, which is not easy. It is also very important to pray for them as Christ has asked us to pray for one another. We also have to assist priests in their pastoral activities because when a priest feels lonely, he can easily be tempted to sin.
Christians and young people in particular should help priests in their day-to-day parish activities like cleaning the church and doing other chores to give priests more time to pray for themselves. It is also very necessary to pray for priests to continue living holy lives. It is also important to sensitise young Christians, especially girls, to be conscious of their dressing because some dress as if they are going to a night club when coming to Church. As a chorister I have been taught not to put on any kind of dressing when coming to Church. If women follow this way of life they will greatly help priests live holy lives.