08/01/2017, 13.20
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Apostolic Union of the Clergy, support for the ministry and lonely priests

by Nirmala Carvalho

The UAC holds its annual meeting in Punjab. In addition to supporting the ministry, the association helps clergymen "support one another in times of difficulties, [which] may be 'burnout', may be loneliness, may be personal crisis etc.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The Indian unit of the Apostolic Union of the Clergy (AUC) will hold its national assembly in Jalandhar (Punjab) from 1st to the 4th of August. The theme of the meeting is "Life and Mission of the UAC in India: Facts and Possibilities".

“The AUC was founded for the overall care of diocesan priests doing ministry,” said AUC national president Father Donald De Souza. Its purpose is to enable clergymen “help each other to sanctify themselves through their life and ministry,” bringing together priests of all rites and traditions.

“The AUC,” Fr De Souza goes on to say, “is meant to help diocesan priests to be selfless workers of the Gospel, in parishes and institutions. It is meant to support one another in times of difficulties, may be 'burnout', may be loneliness, may be personal crisis etc. [. . .] Unlike religious priests, very often the diocesan priests live alone and not in a community!”

The UAC is an association recognised by the Congregation for the clergy and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) bishops. India has about 25,000 priests. About 15,000 are diocesan priests and the other 10,000 are religious priests.

For Fr De Souza, the national assembly ought to “encourage more diocesan priests to become members of the UAC, so that they can benefit spiritually and be helped in their ministry."

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