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A Lesson by Mother Rebecca

Among many who were invited to give a talk to the alumni of Sedes Sapientiae during the Course of September was Mother Rebecca Nazzaro, superior of the Missionaries of the Divine Revelation who spoke about the theme: ''What do the religious expect from a priest?''

Mother Rebecca briefly introduced us to the history of the Missionaries of the Divine Revelation, also called green sisters, as the color of their habits reminds us of the Virgin of Revelation who appeared in Rome in 1947 wearing a green mantle.

She offered some ideas to help us maintain an adequate relationship with consecrated women in the future. Initial tips were of a psychological order: Mother Rebecca explained some differences between the psychology of a religious woman, who provides spiritual motherhood, and a priest, who has fatherly attitudes.

Furthermore, she pointed out several key aspects of the life of a priest, who should look carefully to provide appropriate pastoral care to religious communities. For example, the religious expect a priest to celebrate well the Holy Mass, without hurry, following proper indications in the Roman Missal; the religious are expecting prayerful priests, because the life of relative solitude which many of the priests live is valued greatly when accompanied with prayer.

She also pointed out that a priest should dedicate time for the religious and do spiritual direction with them. It is important for a priest to know the charism of a congregation, their founder, and their system of formation, since this will enhance him to work better with them; and, in the same sense, she noted that a priest should be able to enter into harmony with different religious congregations.

Lastly, Mother Rebecca said that the religious expect to see a priest maintaining his identity and that he should not be, above all, a man of his time, but a man of his priesthood. She adds that to become a good priest, sometimes one needs to go against the current of the world.

We greatly appreciate the help in our training that Mother Rebecca and other religious from different congregations have offered us during the course of September.


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