A bestselling author and leading expert on the Catholic priesthood, Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti forges a renewed theology of priestly blessing, encouraging his brother priests to embrace the habit of blessing people, objects, and events. In this provocative and inspirational book he shows how the blessing is integral to the identity of priests and crucial to the spiritual wellbeing of all the faithful.
Msgr. Stephen Rossetti fears that many priests shy away from blessing people and objects because of a lack of awareness of the rich tradition of Church blessings and a deficit in training for this important pastoral practice. In The Priestly Blessing, Rossetti urges priests to boldly and frequently embrace this ancient practice because of their unique calling.
Rossetti traces the history of blessing in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. He also explores the various types of blessing, such as praise of God, the invocation of special benefit from God, and being consecrated to God.
The Priestly Blessing also helps priests reflect on what saints and mystics have taught about blessing as a vital activity of the Church, and outlines connections between Catholic sacramental theology, the practice of priestly blessing, and the Catholic understanding of creation that helps make sense of priests blessing objects and animals.