Why Priests Are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests

Why Priests Are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests

by Stephen J. Rossetti
     
 

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In his groundbreaking study, Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, the leading American authority on the Catholic priesthood and former director of the Saint Luke Institute, finds that American priests enjoy an extraordinarily high rate of happiness and satisfaction, among the highest of any profession.

Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, a psychologist, professor of pastoral…  See more details below

Overview

In his groundbreaking study, Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, the leading American authority on the Catholic priesthood and former director of the Saint Luke Institute, finds that American priests enjoy an extraordinarily high rate of happiness and satisfaction, among the highest of any profession.

Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, a psychologist, professor of pastoral studies, and the bestselling author of books for priests, recently conducted the most comprehensive survey of priestly happiness and spiritual lives ever undertaken.

Contrary to popular media portrayals, Rossetti finds that priests, as a group, are very happy men. They like the priesthood and are committed to it. In fact, 92 percent say they are happy in their ministry, among the highest rate of satisfaction of any profession in the United States. This accessible, fascinating study compares priests to the general male population with respect to human intimacy, sexual difficulties, burnout, psychological problems, physical health, and self-care. It identifies fourteen factors that contribute to happiness among priests, examining the contribution of spirituality to their psychological health. Rossetti's cutting-edge, hopeful work will be a must-read not only for priests, but for anyone interested in the priesthood and the Church.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It would make sense to assume that Catholic priests are unhappy. Their work is incredibly demanding; they are expected to be on call 24/7; and then there’s the issue of celibacy. But according to Rossetti, a priest and a licensed psychologist, such an assumption would be misguided. The author’s research concludes that a vast majority of diocesan priests are quite content with their work and their lives. This does not mean that there are no problems, and the author does not overlook these. Some priests do not pray often, others drink too much, and a few wrestle with sexual conflicts. While the findings in this study are fascinating, the narrative is at times bogged down with statistical data that is difficult to follow. Still, this work is very important and will do much to dispel myths about the priesthood. The final chapter offers very helpful recommendations directed to bishops and priests and those considering the seminary. The Catholic priesthood is not an easy vocation, but for those called to it, there are many rewards. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594713385
Publisher:
Ave Maria Press
Publication date:
10/24/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

Cokie Roberts
At last some good news about priests! A must read for the laity, seminarians, priests, and especially bishops. (Cokie Roberts, Journalist and Author)
Robert Panke
Useful and sage advice to ensure the health and wellness of our present and future priests and provides an invaluable tool for those responsible for their formation. Indeed, all the faithful would benefit from reading it! (Msgr. Robert Panke, President National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors)
Wilton D. Gregory
A wonderful example of how the sciences and the candid survey of priest respondents reveal the reasons why the Catholic priesthood remains among the happiest vocations to be studied. . . . refreshing and enlightening at the same time. (Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Atlanta)
John L. Allen Jr.
By clearing away the debris of myth and public prejudice, [Rossetti] helps the Church focus on the very real challenges facing the priesthood. — From the Foreword (John L. Allen Jr., Senior Correspondent
National Catholic Reporter)
Peter J. Vaghi
At long last, there exists a highly scientific and large-scale study from a well-respected expert on the challenges of the American priesthood! It reveals a 'secret' joy in the celibate priestly vocation of today—a high level of satisfaction, happiness, and psychological health! Thanks Msgr. Stephen Rossetti! (Msgr. Peter J. Vaghi, Author of The Commandments We Keep)
Benedict J. Groeschel
This will be an important study for priests and all those involved in their formation and care. (Rev. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R., Author of I Am With You Always)

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Meet the Author

Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse, is a licensed psychologist, bestselling author, and sought-after expert on clergy and religious. He served as president and CEO of Saint Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland and is currently a clinical associate professor of pastoral studies at the Catholic University of America. Rossetti has been featured on NPR and "Meet the Press," and has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, and other major newspapers.

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