In the beginning, the Lord entrusted to Peter of Galilee the ministry of strengthening his brothers (Luke 22:31-32). That Petrine ministry is at the heart of our Catholic Christian faith. Later in the fourth century, Ambrose, the great teacher and bishop of Milan preached: "Ubi Petrus ibi ecclesia. ." (Where there is Peter there is the Church . . . .") Those words come immediately to mind as one reads this beautiful collection of pastoral letters of a bishop to his priests. On every page of this book, you will encounter another Peter who took to heart the Lord's injunction to Peter of Galilee to `strengthen his brothers.' We hear often that priestly identity is in crisis today. Through personal memories and stories steeped in rich pastoral experiences, Scripture and Church tradition, Peter of Seattle offers a message of consolation, joy and hope to priests of today. These letters of encouragement will help us weather the storms around us and rediscover...
These letters, as encouragingly practical as they are profound, contain a vision of priestly life tested and proven in the crucible of one man's actual experience. And, at the core of the vision, there is always a down-to-earthness and humility, a manifest joy, and a candid acknowledgment of both the burden and blessing of priesthood today.
Paul Murray, OP, author of The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality: A Drink Called Happiness
Archbishop Sartain's Strengthen Your Brothers permits the reader a route of access into the mind, heart and soul of the Catholic priesthood, displaying how God's grace can transform finite, and often fragile men, into living icons that reveal the power and presence of Jesus Christ.
Very Rev. Robert Barron, Rector of Mundelein Seminary
All of the reflections celebrate a spirituality of the cross and resurrection in which we truly encounter the love of God poured out in Jesus. The topics and spiritual advice, through directed to priests, are such that they would encourage any person, especially those in ecclesial ministry, who are seeking a deeper life in Christ.
What is presented here in addition to encouragement is: a theology of the priesthood as it is inhabited and lived by priests in the present time, hints at the best of ways in which fraternity might develop around a mission of service, and starkly honest considerations of how ministers reconcile their own brokenness and continued conversion with their professed commitment to work in the name of Jesus Christ.
Reviews in Religion and Theology