Spiritual Husbands-Spiritual Fathers: Priestly Formation for the 21st Century

by Bishop Felipe J. Estévez, S.T.D., and Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens, S.T.D.

In Spiritual Husbands-Spiritual Fathers: Priestly Formation for the 21st Century, Bishops Estévez and Cozzens fulfill a desire of the Church expressed in the 2016 Ratio Fundamentalis and the Program for Priestly Formation, 6th edition, in delivering an in-depth spiritual and psychological resource that engenders affective maturity and fruitful chaste celibacy for a renewal of priestly formation. The materials made available in this book will assist seminary formators in providing an integral formation that takes into account the human and spiritual needs of candidates being formed for the Catholic priesthood and help them determine if those candidates are capable of living the fullness of self-gift required by celibacy and how to form them deeply in that self-gift. As a result, this book provides nothing short of a tour de force for contemporary Catholic priestly formation.

Paperback: $29.95 | Kindle: $9.95

THEOLOGY TODAY – ST. VINCENT DE PAUL REGIONAL SEMINARY

AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

Listen to "WCAT Radio Evening Review with Fr Kubicki on Consciousness Examen (February 18, 2009)" on Spreaker.

In support of Chapter 18 "Consciousness Examen" by Fr. George Aschenbrenner, SJ.

Rev. Larry Christenson on “Unilateral Forgiveness” – in two parts on YouTube.

TESTIMONIALS

Spiritual Husbands – Spiritual Fathers is a profound contribution to the Church and should be priority reading for all bishops as essential ongoing episcopal formation! This collection of resources, edited by Bishop Estévez and Bishop Cozzens, provides an essential presentation of celibacy and a practical guide for all who are entrusted with the work of seminary formation. The understanding of priestly celibacy richly developed in these articles is a unique resource in the Church for seminary formators, bishops and clergy, as well. Spiritual Husbands – Spiritual Fathers will be highly referenced in the work of priestly formation for generations to come.”  — Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt, Diocese of Grand Island, Nebraska
“We often look to the priests as ‘Spiritual Fathers’ and rarely as ‘Spiritual Husbands.’ It is an interesting and encompassing approach deep rooted in patristic theology with the aim of preparing today’s seminarians affectionately, intellectually, pastorally, and spiritually to assume that role of giving themselves to the Church (husbands) and to the people (fathers).” — Bishop A. Elias Zaidan, Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles

“Both Bishops Estévez and Cozzens, as well as the other contributors to this book, have extensive seminary and clergy formation backgrounds, and offer many helpful insights for both formators and discerners alike. The authors offer balanced, yet nuanced, perspectives into helping our future priests understand themselves as chaste, celibate, spiritual fathers, and bridegrooms of the Church. The articles contained herein will aid in the formation of healthy and wholesome men who are able to become, for the people of God, self-gift through self-knowledge and healing. After almost a dozen years as a seminary formator, I find this book a helpful contribution to my work with insights to which I will often return for further prayer and reflection.” — Bishop David L.Toups, S.Th.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas, former Rector/President, St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach, Florida

“The call of each Christian disciple is to make a sincere gift of self in love and sacrifice for the good of the other. For the priest, this is happens in a special way through the charism of chaste celibacy, where he is configured to Christ the Bridegroom in His love for the Church. This book will aid seminary formators in their task to assist seminarians in receiving this precious gift and equipping them to live it out for the rest of their days in joyful service to the Church.” — Fr. Joseph C. Taphorn, JCL, Rector, The Saint Paul Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Spiritual Husbands – Spiritual Fathers provides a surfeit of riches for those involved in the work of priestly formation. The array of authors supplies a depth of perspective, and the multiple areas of expertise represented herein ensure a presentation that is both global and balanced. This volume will be a welcome addition to the library of anyone involved in the work of forming the future priests of Christ’s Church.” — Fr. Robert S. Horihan, Rector of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, Winona, MN

“Pope St. John Paul II wrote in Pastores Dabo Vobis, n. 44. ‘Human maturity, and in particular affective maturity, requires a clear and strong training in freedom.’ The essays in this volume will help formators and seminarians train and be trained in the freedom that leads to affective maturity. Grateful to the authors for this work.”  — Msgr. Dan Trapp, Director of Spiritual Formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit

“In these challenging times in our Church history, this book is most timely.  In these pages, Catholics will discover anew the beauty of the self-gift of the priesthood and the wisdom of the Church. This book is truly a treasure chest of formation and inspirational articles and essays not only for priests, seminarians and their spiritual directors and formators, but for all Catholics who love the Church and are seeking inspiration and practical counsel for their own personal growth in holiness.” — Alicia G. Goodwin, M.A.T.S., President, Our Lady of Divine Providence House of Prayer®

“St. John Paul II once wrote: ‘Live your life in the dimension of gift.’ Every vocation is about this; certainly the Holy Priesthood. But nemo dat quod non habet–one cannot give what one does not have. It is precisely because self-possession always precipitates self-gift that affective maturity is required. This collection of 22 articles on affective maturity is a treasure chest for vocation directors and seminary formators written by some of the best in the business. It will be a tremendous blessing as the Church continues to progress in implementing the Ratio!” — Fr. Brett A. Brannen, author of To Save A Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood

“Drawing from Holy Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, mystics, ecumenical councils, and contemporary spiritual writers, “Spiritual Husbands – Spiritual Fathers” speaks directly to every priest’s desire for greater conformity to Christ the High Priest, through a more intimate and life-giving relationship with Mary. It will prove a useful tool especially for those tasked with the formation of future priests in the midst of these challenging times.” — Fr. Mark Ivany, Director of Priest Vocations, Archdiocese of Washington, Director of Pastoral Formation, St. John Paul II Seminary

“Spiritual Husbands – Spiritual Fathers presents a captivating vision for priestly formation based on the universal call of all men to fatherhood founded on a call to espousal. Whether this call is to physical or spiritual marriage, it is genuinely fulfilled by a mature commitment to a free, total, faithful, and fruitful gift of self to his beloved. For the priest, this sincere gift of self is authentically lived out through chaste celibacy, freeing him to fulfill his call to be the spiritual father of his flock. This anthology of articles is an important addition to priestly formation resources.” — Catherine Loh, M.A. Theology, Diocese of Palm Beach, Director of Marriage, Family Life, Faith Formation & Youth Ministry

NB: An initial print run mistakenly carried a misattribution to Fr. James Rafferty, S.T.D., of the “Healing of Memories” handout on pp. 477-478. The attribution has been updated in a new print run to recognize the authorship of Joseph Lange and Anthony J. Cushing in their book Freedom and Healing (Dove Publications, 1976, pp. 72-74). En Route extends its apologies to Fr. Rafferty and to the authors with a special note of gratitude to Fr. Rafferty for bringing this matter to our attention.

ABOUT THE EDITORS

The Most Rev. Felipe J. Estévez was born Feb. 5, 1946, in Havana, Cuba, and arrived in the United States on an Operation Pedro Pan flight as a teenager. He was ordained in 1970 and has done extensive studies in spiritual theology, earning a doctorate from Gregorian University in Rome. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Italian. From 2001 to 2003, Bishop Estévez served as spiritual director of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla. where he served as rector from 1980 to 1986. He was the pastor of St. Agatha Parish in Miami for 14 years, while also directing campus ministry at Florida International University. Appointed Auxiliary Bishop on Nov. 21, 2003, and ordained Jan. 7, 2004, he oversaw the archdiocese’s Ministry of Pastoral Services including family life, youth, campus, prison and respect life ministries, as well as all church movements and new communities. In 2010, he was appointed Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Miami. On April 27, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI named Auxiliary Bishop Felipe J. Estévez the tenth Bishop of St. Augustine. He was installed on June 2, 2011, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jacksonville. Bishop Estévez is the second of three children (Carlos and Marty) of the late Adriano and Estrella Estévez.

The Most Rev. Andrew Cozzens, S.T.D., is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He worked in seminary formation for 8 years as a formator in the external forum, professor, and interim rector. He currently serves as the President of the Seminary Formation Council, of which he is also a founding member, and the President of the Institute for Priestly Formation based in Omaha Nebraska. His doctoral dissertation, Imago Vivens Iesu Christi Sponsi Ecclesiae: The Priest as a Living Image of Jesus Christ the Bridegroom of the Church through the Evangelical Counsels, focused on the relationship between the priesthood and the evangelical counsels based on the priest’s call to live in imitation of Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church. 

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