St. John Vianney's Pastoral Plan | Fr. John Cihak, S.T.L. | Ignatius Insight
St. John Vianney's Pastoral Plan | Fr. John Cihak, S.T.D. | Ignatius Insight
"St. John Vianney's ministry gives parish priests a fundamental blueprint for a pastoral plan for any place and time."
St. John Vianney (1786-1859) is regaining popularity among diocesan seminarians. After a generation of being ignored, if not ridiculed,
the patron saint of parish priests is once again finding his way into the hearts and minds of seminarians and priests.
The Church names him as patron because this humble priest, assigned to the backwaters of southeastern, post
revolutionary France, reveals things perennial about the priesthood and priestly ministry. The pioneering Pope Blessed
John XXIII even wrote an encyclical letter on St. John Vianney recommending him as a model for diocesan priests to
follow. The new generation of American priests is not discovering St. John Vianney because it simply has nostalgia for
what is old, rather because it has a hunger for what perdures. This article is the fruit of this search and the summary
of a discussion I had with a group of transitional deacons on the cusp of ordination. By the time this article is
published, these men will already be priests.
Their assignment was to examine the beginning years of St. John
Vianney's ministry in Ars through the lens of two questions: 1) What was the cultural landscape of his time? 2) What are
the basic contours of his pastoral plan? How was it that within eight years of the Curè's arrival to Ars many of the
people who were living indifferent and nominally Christian lives became fervent and committed believers? The biography
used was Father Francis Trochu's The Curè D'Ars, whose research was based on the Curè's process of canonization.
Notwithstanding the literary style of his time, the work is still the most comprehensive treatment of his life in
English, and fortunately still in print [Trochu, Francis. The Curè D'Ars, tr. Ernest Graf (Rockville, IL: TAN,
The group discovered that St. John Vianney's ministry gives parish priests a fundamental blueprint for a
pastoral plan for any place and time. This assertion may strike some readers as naive, but I invite them to risk reading
what follows. After all, if we are honest with ourselves and the current spiritual state of our parishes, we know that
the various approaches of the last forty years have not borne much fruit, and we often feel that we are grasping at
straws in knowing what to do. Perhaps we have settled into mediocrity and have allowed ourselves and our people to drift
into lukewarm waters which deep down we know have drastic consequences (cf. Rev. 2:15 16).
Similar Cultural Landscapes
Although separated by
thousands of miles, the topography around Ars is quite similar to that of mid Willamette Valley, Oregon where Mount
Angel Seminary is situated. Both areas are largely agricultural, green with trees and fields spread over rolling hills
and dotted with small towns. Even today, Ars is little more than a crossroads among farms.
Though separated by
nearly two hundred years, the cultural landscape between 19th century France and 21st century America is also similar.
Mentioned here are the relevant contours of 19th century France; the thoughtful reader can make the connections with
present day America. Father Vianney arrived at his parish a generation after unparalleled cultural and political
upheaval in France. The Revolution and subsequent Terror, the hardships under Napoleonic rule, the widespread
devastation of churches, religious communities and practices, and the outright attack on the Church in France herself,
were still fresh in the minds of many. The Revolution's spawn of secularism had permeated much of French society, with
even the smaller villages feeling its reverberations. God and the Church were relegated more and more to the margins of
Upheaval was also felt within the Church in France. In the wake of the Revolution, the faithful
were often confused about the relationship between faithfulness to the Church and allegiance to the State. The State had
sought to subsume the Church, going so far as to force the clergy to take an oath to the State, effectively making the
priest more of an employee of the State than a servant of the Gospel. The faithful, moreover, were scandalized when many
priests succumbed to this pressure, including the then pastor of Ars, Father Saunier. Educated at the Sorbonne, Ars's
pastor took the oath in 1791 and the spiritual unraveling of the parish in Ars began. The next year the parish church
was looted and Father Saunier left the priesthood. The sanctuary of the parish church was converted into a club where
the "free thinkers" of the area held their meetings. Though restoration of the Church in France began in 1801, tension
and confusion about the clergy still existed. Which priests could one trust? What of the priests who took the oath? What
about those priests who refused and suffered or were even killed? France in the 19th century also was experiencing a
The religious ignorance and indifference spawned by the Revolution had their effect on the life
of Ars. People frequently missed Sunday Mass, and work dominated the lives of most. The tiny settlement boasted of four
taverns where the livelihoods of many families were squandered. The very people who could not find time for Sunday Mass
spent themselves in festivities, lasting far into the night and ending in the usual evils. Religious ignorance was
rampant in both children and adults. Ironically the efforts of the Revolution to replace worship of the living God with
the goddess "Reason" reaped the fruit of widespread illiteracy, and only a minority in Ars could read. Ars, however, was
no better or worse off than the other villages in France. Remnants of faith and morals were still found scattered about
among some of the families. The faith and the priesthood were not despised, just ignored. The impact of the Revolution
and Terror, and the poor example or lack of stable clergy left the parish unsettled, ignorant, confused and at best
Despite the many similarities to our own time, four primary differences exist between St. John
Vianney's time and our own. One obvious difference is that Jansenism, with its harshness, scrupulosity and anxiety, was
still felt within the faithful. The heresy had been put down, but its bitterness could still be tasted in the spiritual
groundwater. A second difference was respect for priests, and their authority, still existed in the culture. A third
difference was the local government, embodied in the mayor and municipal counselor, who supported his efforts in the
religious and moral regeneration of the village because it promoted the common good. Fourthly, differences existed
within the Church between then and now. For example, today's "culture of dissent" among some Catholic quarters and the
problem of liturgical abuse were not so much part of Vianney's time.
Into this cultural milieu stepped the little
priest from the village of Ecully, and he gave the people of Ars something they had never seen before. How did he do it?
Our group detected eight basic features to his pastoral plan: 1) the conversion of his own life as a priest; 2)
manifesting an approachable and available demeanor; 3) prayer and ascetical living; 4) channeling initial energy into
those families already faithful; 5) giving special attention to the liturgy, preaching and catechesis; 6) addressing
problems at their roots and not in their symptoms; 7) planting good habits of prayer and the works of mercy; and 8)
doing it all with a strong priestly identity.
When we hear about pastoral
plans, we often think first of implementing some packaged program motivating parishioners to "get involved." St. John
Vianney's plan did not begin with the parishioners in what they needed to do, nor did it begin with what he needed to
implement for them. He began with what he needed to do within his own life.
St. John Vianney did not come down
from Mount Olympus to reform and save the poor parishioners of Ars. He first of all set out to save his own soul, and by
example drew others into this path of holiness. In this he followed the spiritual maxim from the Desert Fathers and from
the Lord himself: If you want to sanctify others, begin with yourself. Vianney's conversion of the parish started with
his own, and his deepened along with theirs. One deacon in the group observed that early on, the Curè of Ars made the
conscious decision to become a saint. Yet he did not arrive in Ars already a saint. He became one at Ars by being a
priest for his flock, and gained sanctity over time through much grace and struggle.
The matter and form of his
path to holiness came from his vocation as a priest. He did not go looking for "his spirituality." All he needed was
found within the priesthood Christ had given him. He practiced chastity, obedience and simplicity of life, the same
qualities that the Bishops of the United States list as necessary before a candidate can be recommended for ordination
(cf. Program of Priestly Formation, nn. 544 545). Vianney's biographer focuses primarily on his simplicity of life. When
the Curè arrived to his parish he brought with him "a few clothes, a wooden bedstead, and the books left to him by M.
Balley [his mentor]" (p. 106).... "His cassock was made of coarse material, and his shoes were such as were worn by the
peasantry" (p. 115). It was well known among the poor that beggars received "bountiful alms" from the new parish priest
of Ars. It is thought that millions of francs passed through Father Vianney's hands, of which very little was spent on
Approachable, Available and Real
This indispensable foundation in his own
conversion as a man and priest blossomed into action. He soon established the habit of making rounds in his parish at
the time he knew most people would be in. Even though his presence was not universally welcomed, the villagers judged
their new Curè "to be full of kindness, cheerfulness, and affability" (p. 117). The Curè of Ars was an approachable and
likeable man. In his approachability, Father Vianney exemplifies what Pope John Paul II has written in our time: "It is
important that the priest should mold his human personality in such a way that it becomes a bridge and not an obstacle
for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man" (Pastores Dabo Vobis, n. 43). The Curè of Ars did not
wait for people to come to him; he was to be found mingling with his people. He exhibited a spirit of joy and energy in
what he did. He loved being a priest. People generally knew where to find him, and he made it a point to be seen
walking, often praying his breviary or his rosary. Though he loved solitude and quiet, he had no trouble exchanging
words with the workers he passed.
When visiting his parishioners on their turf he began the conversation with
ordinary things of interest to farmers and workmen: crops, weather, the work in progress, etc. But he obtained deeper
information in these informal chats such as the number and ages of the children, the state of the relationships among
family members, and the connection between the different families in Ars. He ended his visit with some questions about
the faith whereby he could gauge how well they had been catechized and identify the primary spiritual problems. What he
discovered in his visits may sound similar to what a parish priest today may discover: most parishioners knew little,
and cared little, about their faith, especially the younger generation who were born during and after the Revolution.
Vianney's approach was not to treat his parish in the abstract, and he did not pretend to convert the world. His
priestly mission was not to the abstract "world" or "parish," Put the concrete reality of the people and place of Ars.
All his priestly energy was directed uniquely to them.
Prayer and Penance
Coming upon the
boundary of his new parish for the first time, Father Vianney knelt down and prayed. He was acutely aware that the
mission given him was completely beyond his ability. If his priestly ministry was to be fruitful, it would come from
Jesus working through him. For this reason we find him face down on the floor of his church early in the morning and
late at night begging, even crying, for the grace of conversion for his parish. "My God," he was heard to pray before
the tabernacle, "grant me the conversion of my parish; I am willing to suffer all my life whatsoever it may please thee
to lay upon me; yes, even for a hundred years am I prepared to endure the sharpest pains, only let my people be
converted" (p. 118). Only a priest who understood himself as a true father, and not a hireling could utter such a
prayer. A hireling easily finds a way to avoid responsibility while a father takes responsibility. If the people were
not holy, it was his responsibility to do something about it.
The primacy of prayer in ministry, which is so
evident in the Curè of Ars, is an important lesson for parish priests. The cancer of Pelagianism among us is more
prevalent than we like to admit. We are deceived into thinking that we can accomplish our priestly mission by relying on
our gifts, our creativity and our activity. Especially among us younger priests, we are easily fooled into thinking that
we need to jump into activity without realizing that only prayer and penance usher in the grace that will make it
fruitful. Vianney reminds parish priests that the offering of daily Mass, constancy in the Liturgy of the Hours,
fidelity to a daily holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, making an annual retreat, and practicing self denial are the
necessary foundation for the priest's mission of preaching, sanctifying and governing.
To his prayer, St. John
Vianney joined penance. While maintaining the absolute necessity of asceticism in a priest's life, we are compelled to
view the Curè of Ars' asesis through the lens of his time, his own personal temperament, and the tremendous graces given
him. Too easily we hear about his excessive use of the discipline and dismiss his asceticism, while failing to learn its
valuable lesson. Though we may sift through the details of his asceticism, we must agree about the fact of living
ascetically. As the years passed, he moderated some of his harsher practices.
Father Vianney's example teaches that
prayer and penance was the most, not the least, a priest could do for his people. He knew that the fruitfulness of his
priesthood lay not in clever preaching, creative ideas or building team spirit, but first of all offering himself daily
in love as a living oblation for his people. An effective pastoral plan would begin here or not at all.
To Build a Fire, Fan the Coal
When a priest first arrives to a parish, especially in
today's megaparishes, he is often overwhelmed by the sheer number of people and needs. Father Vianney's plan helps the
parish priest to focus his energies. The Curè first focused on the families that were already strong in their faith and
had resisted the waves of worldliness and indifference. This approach may seem counter intuitive. Why expend energy on
people he already had? His answer is that they would become the fiery coals, which would dry out the damp the wood of
the rest of the parish and help set it ablaze. His work had a ripple effect expanding outward from these initial
families to more and more of the village and surrounding area.
In his efforts to galvanize the faithful, strong
families also met a deep human need in the Curè of Ars: the need for support. He did not simply depend on himself, but
needed people who would assist him in his efforts to convert the village, especially since his initial efforts elicited
ridicule and criticism. These families would be there for him, speak well of him and begin setting the example for the
rest of the parish to follow. This support was not a "cult of personality" around Vianney or because they were best
friends rather their support came from the fact that he was their Curè and they both shared the Church's vision for the
Back to Basics: Liturgy, Preaching and Catechesis
In the face of religious
ignorance and lukewarm faith, Father Vianney dedicated himself to "the source and summit of the Christian life" (Lumen
gentium, n. 11), and began enhancing the worship of God on Sundays. He identified the lack of a God ward orientation in
the people as the primary problem. Thus he set about to sanctify the Lord's Day to help the people reorder their
priorities. Since people were not coming to Mass on Sundays, he began to beautify the parish church, making it
attractive to people. The place of the Eucharist was to be a place of the beautiful. He even used his own money to
purchase a new altar and statuary. He spared no expense in acquiring sumptuous vestments for the liturgy though he
himself wore a threadbare cassock. He who was not finicky at what he ate was quite picky about the quality of materials
that went into the parish church. Some may criticize this practice in that the money could be spent on the poor;
however, we find the Curè just as generous with the poor. He would find it strange that we parish priests would lament
the cost of marble for the sanctuary, and then vote pay increases for ourselves at presbyteral council
His manner of celebrating the Divine Mysteries was radiant. His love of the Mass could be read on his
face. He was authentic, allowing himself to smile or weep however the mysteries moved him. He was reverent and precise.
He did not strive after relevant liturgies; he strove for beautiful ones. Following the teaching of the Council of
Trent, he strove to instill in his congregation a love and understanding of the liturgy and other sacred rites through
his manner of celebrating and his preaching.
His preaching was clear and focused on the central mysteries of the
faith. Most of the deacons in the discussion group mentioned that the Curè did not mince words in his preaching or
teaching. He worked hard weaving his sermons through hours of study and it was not uncommon early on in his ministry for
him to spend several hours per week preparing the Sunday sermon. After writing it out on the vestment table in the
sacristy, he then struggled to commit it to memory. He used stories and images familiar to his people, especially
agrarian ones, to illustrate his points. He spoke their language and used the colloquial expressions of his
Father Vianney's passion and personality also shone in his preaching. The personal intensity of his
preaching was so great that it was not uncommon to see tears fall from his eyes or to hear him lose his voice. Depending
on the need, his words came across as challenging or consoling. Once he was asked, "Monsieur le Curè why is it that you
speak so softly when you pray and so loudly when you preach?" He replied, "Oh, the reason is that when I preach I speak
to people who are either deaf or asleep, but when I pray, I speak to the good God who is not deaf' (p. 132). The pulpit
also provided Father Vianney many opportunities for humility. Sometimes he got so lost in his delivery that he would
simply stop and come down from the pulpit without finishing.
A common error has been spread about Vianney, which
confuses his intellectual struggles with an anti-intellectual bent about him. It is true that Vianney struggled with
Latin. Yet his Latin was undoubtedly better than most of ours today. Another reason for his academic struggles was that
he did not go to the seminary until his mid twenties. As we know, it is easier to learn when we are young. Though he
struggled academically, he was an intelligent man. During his ministry, Vianney maintained the habit of reading and
studying until the demands of the confessional consumed the bulk of his waking time. When he died, he had over 300 books
in his personal library--hardly evidence of an anti intellectual.
Along with beautifying the liturgy and working
hard in preaching, he set about developing an organized approach to catechize the youth. Unfortunately First Communion
had become but a formality and passing event in their lives. He used the wise tactics of a pastor to get them to come
initially: "He who arrives first in church shall have a [holy] picture" (p. 128). He challenged parents to take
responsibility for the spiritual life of their children, and did all the catechizing personally until an assistant was
given to him some twenty seven years later. Obviously the small size of his parish allowed him to do it. After only a
few years, it was known that the children of Ars knew their catechism better than any in the surrounding
Strike Problems at Their Root Causes
At first glance, the social problems in
Ars were obvious: destitution, indifference, lack of charity, everyday life consumed by work, etc. The Curè of Ars,
whether consciously or intuitively, understood these as symptoms of a much deeper cause. Social woes had their roots in
a spiritual problem: the Lord was not the center of their lives.
St. John Vianney seemed to have a good grasp of
the prophetic aspect of the priest's ministry. When he went about challenging the status quo of the village, he had the
courage and fortitude to see it through because his life was first immersed in Christ through his own conversion, prayer
and asceticism. As a result, the initial criticism and resistance that met him, though discouraging, did not sway him.
Here one can see how his pastoral plan builds on itself: effective renewal in the parish is built upon the priest's
inner life with Christ. Every parish priest who strives to be faithful to the Lord and the Church knows how difficult it
is to follow through on changes in the face of criticism. We tend to feel hurt by what others say about us, and are
tempted to water down the message or to back down from what needs to be done.
In a farming community such as Ars,
Sunday had become a workday. The ringing of the church bell on Sunday morning was met with the rumbling of carts and the
hammering of the anvil. The Curè took a colossal leap of faith and refused to give parishioners permission to work on
Sunday, even during harvest time. The Lord even intervened for him in miraculous ways by bringing rain, or preventing
it, while the people were in church. Another approach he used was making more of the Holy Days of obligation. The Holy
Days can be especially effective in inculcating the God ward orientation when the regular workday is interrupted for
Not only excessive work, but also tavern life was symptomatic of the spiritual problem. Great effort was
exerted for work and pleasure, but not for God. This habit was shared by peasant and gentry alike. The taverns were
places where the Lord's name was blasphemed, where habits of cursing and swearing festered, and where livelihoods were
squandered. Perhaps in our own day the proliferation of porn shops and casinos would compare to tavern life in Ars. The
Curè set about to close them. In the words of his biographer, Father Vianney was "ruthless" in his invective against
them. However, he still cared for the welfare of the owners. When one complained to him that his preaching kept people
away and was causing his financial ruin, the Curè gave the man enough money to close the tavern. One by one each owner
closed his tavern and took up another occupation.
Father Vianney's efforts at closing the taverns had the
consequence of eliminating the primary cause for poverty and destitution in Ars. When the people began living their
lives centered on God and not on work and pleasure, the symptoms of destitution and loose living began to disappear. One
deacon related that Vianney did not begin by saying, "I'm going to end poverty in Ars." Rather he began with a campaign
to honor the Lord's Day. This point does not insinuate that it is "either or" solution: either focus on Sunday or act in
a more direct manner to alleviate society's problems, but the solution is "both and." Without the primacy of orienting
one's life toward God, however, the other efforts at societal reform, though noble, will not ultimately succeed. It
should also be noted that his efforts required much time and patience. The rebuilding of respect for the Lord's Day and
the closing of the taverns took eight years of ceaseless effort, and even so was not completely successful.
Nevertheless, a majority did re center their lives on the Lord, and destitution largely disappeared.
addressing excessive work and tavern life, Vianney began a campaign against dancing. Why dancing? Is Vianney simply
revealing himself as prudish? Here again it is important to view his efforts through the lens of his time. He saw
dancing as a symptom of a root problem. He saw that one enamored with dancing was unable to relish pure and simple
pleasures, and dulled one's sense for spiritual realities. Immersion in video games, Internet and television in our
times render the human spirit dull before the real and simple pleasures of human life. The issue, moreover, was not
simply dancing, but the "party scene" that accompanied it. The dances in Ars were occasions for serious sin against
chastity in which people used each other for pleasure, not love. Perhaps events like MTV's Spring Break, contraception
or cohabitation may be dancing's correlative in our day. "There is not a commandment of God," he preached, "which
dancing does not cause men to break" (p. 146). He took action as well. One day he met the fiddler as he was arriving at
Ars to play for a dance. The Curè of Ars asked him what he was usually paid. Vianney gave him double so that the man
went away satisfied, and the dance did not occur. Like his efforts against excessive work and tavern life, ending the
dances took time and patience--25 years.
Plant the Good: Prayer and the Works of
Vianney's vigorous uprooting of evil had a purpose. He uprooted it in order to cultivate something
much better: the life of the Kingdom. By degrees he led Mlle. d'Ars, the leading woman of the town, out of her
Jansenistic tendencies, and she became a model Christian who was seen at daily Mass and serving the poor. Others began
to follow her example, and before long, the Curè of Ars had a women's group called "the workers of the first hour."
Younger girls began to join them and Father Vianney organized them into the "Confraternity of the Rosary." These women
devoted themselves to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and works of charity in the town.
A few devout men also
began to follow suit, and under Vianney's guidance they revived in the parish the ancient "Guild of the Blessed
Sacrament." His biographer writes, "M. Vianney was rightly convinced that his people would not take up seriously the
practice of religion until the day when he should have won over the youths and the men of the village" (p. 184).
Although their daily work often prevented them from making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament each day, they became
regular Sunday worshippers and often spent an hour in adoration after Vespers on Sunday.
Family prayer had all
but died out in the village, and Vianney realized that most farmers and workers could not attend daily Mass in the
morning. He introduced praying a rosary at the church in the evenings. In the parishioners' personal lives, he taught
them to make a daily examination of conscience, do short spiritual reading, practice meditation, and make an offering of
their daily sufferings. Father Vianney joined together with his neighboring priests to organize missions and confessions
at each other's parishes. It was at these missions that the Curè of Ars' gift as a confessor was discovered.
Curè of Ars complemented his efforts at prayer with the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. When St. John Vianney
arrived in Ars, there was no real school. He recruited two young women of the parish and sent them, at his own expense,
to be trained as schoolmistresses. He raised money himself to purchase a house, which would serve as a free school for
girls. Vianney then turned his attention to the orphans and street children of the area who were usually reduced to
begging, and opened an orphanage in the same home. The house soon needed to be expanded to keep up with demand. A true
pastor, he bought some adjacent land, drew up construction plans himself, and even assisted the masons and carpenters.
Over the years, many a young girl, arriving "often ...only half clad and covered with vermin," found safety, an
education, virtue, faith, a spiritual mother in Catherine and a true spiritual father in their Curè" (p. 198). By 1841,
this home accommodated between fifty to sixty girls.
Always a Priest
In this time of
planting the good seed in ground where unnecessary labor, tavern life and dancing had once festered, the personal
dedication and energy of the pastor of Ars never flagged. His biographer writes that "he never refused except when a
thing was obviously impossible; all his life he spent himself for others, without ever counting the cost. A woman of
Fareins, who was stricken with cancer, wished ...to behold once more the Curè d'Ars .... He set out at once, however,
but lost his way, so that when he eventually reached Fareins he was covered with mud and worn out with fatigue. He would
not consent to take anything, not even a glass of water.... After blessing and comforting the poor dying woman, the
lowly priest made haste to return to his parish" (p. 193).
In the span of eight years, by the grace of God and
his efforts, the Curè of Ars had instilled in the people the primacy of God in their lives, and cultivated in them
dedication to prayer and the care of the poor. It is important to remember that in this pastoral plan, St. John Vianney
was not unaffected. A true saint, he was not above it all. He suffered much in this plan, not only the physical
suffering of his penances and sicknesses, the spiritual agony of temptations and preternatural harassment by the Devil,
but also the anguish of heart and the weight of burden that only a pastor can feel. He also suffered much from the
criticisms, denunciations and sometimes outright calumny of his brother priests.
Our group found no temerity in
Vianney's priestly identity. He was singularly unapologetic about both his priesthood and his manhood. To convert the
people of Ars, Vianney did not have to become a psychologist, a bureaucrat, or a social worker. The effectiveness of his
plan also did not come from his charisma or "cult of personality." He was simply their priest, the Curè of Ars. All that
was required was that he strive to become the man and priest Jesus had made him to be. Much more can be said about St.
John Vianney's life and ministry. This article is intended simply to shed light on one small aspect of it as seen by a
group of priests to be. For the priest who has the courage to implement it with the necessary adjustments to the present
day, the plan has proven to produce much good fruit.
This article originally appeared in the August/September 2005 issue of Homiletic & Pastoral Review.
Related IgnatiusInsight.com Articles:
The Priest as Man, Husband, and Father | Fr. John Cihak
Satan and the Saint | The Feast Day of St. John Vianney | Carl E. Olson
Who Is A Priest? | Fr. Benedict Ashley, O.P.
Women and the Priesthood: A Theological
Reflection | Jean Galot, S.J. | From Theology of the Priesthood
The Real Reason for the Vocation
Crisis | Rev. Michael P. Orsi
Pray the Harvest Master Sends
Laborors | Rev. Anthony Zimmerman
Priestly Vocations in America:
A Look At the Numbers | Jeff Ziegler
Clerical Celibacy: Concept and Method |
Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler | From
The Case for Clerical Celibacy
The Religion of Jesus | Blessed Columba
Marmion | From Christ, The Ideal
of the Priest
Balthasar and Anxiety: Methodological
and Phenomenological Considerations | Fr. John Cihak
Love Alone is Believable: Hans Urs von
Balthasar's Apologetics | Fr. John Cihak
Author Page for Hans Urs von Balthasar
Fr. John Cihak, S.T.D., a priest of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, works in the Vatican. He helped to start Quo Vadis Days camps promoting discernment and
the priesthood at the high school level that now operate in several US dioceses. He has been a pastor and served in seminary formation.
He is the author of
Balthasar and Anxiety (T&TClark, 2009).
If you'd like to receive the FREE IgnatiusInsight.com e-letter (about
every 1 to 2 weeks), which includes regular updates about IgnatiusInsight.com
articles, reviews, excerpts, and author appearances,
please click here to sign-up today!