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Many Are Called: Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI declared 2009 to be the "Year of the Priest", and in honor of that proclamation, author Scott Hahn looked to the ministerial priesthood for his newest book, "Many Are Called: Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood" (Doubleday, 160 pages, paperback). Most books on the priesthood are written by priests or primarily for priests, so Hahn's book is refreshing by being neither. Writing as a layman, Hahn offers a unique perspective on the priesthood, examining as an outsider looking in. He writes not just for priests, but for anyone curious about the priesthood, one of Catholicism's defining but least understood elements.

"Many Are Called" includes twelve chapters, each exploring a different role that priests play. Some of the roles are obvious, like Mediator and Teacher, while others may be less familiar, like Warrior, Bridegroom, and Brother. The book opens up the priesthood through these introspections, unfolding it like a flower to expose its depths. When a priest celebrates Mass or administers Confession, he is doing much more than distributing bread or making someone feel less guilty. He allows Jesus to enter us, plunging Christ's body and forgiveness from the spiritual realm into our material world. From the view of eternity, priests are the most influential, powerful, and courageous people on Earth. Throughout the book, Hahn uses Church Fathers, chunks of Scripture, and official Church teachings to dig below the surface of reveal the true glory of this ancient vocation.

A small (7.5" x 5") short book (160 widely-spaced pages), "Many Are Called" could probably be condensed to about 120 pages in a normal-sized book. While Hahn's book can be read in one or two sittings, it leaves the impression that more could have been said. "Many Are Called" really just introduces these priestly roles, encouraging deeper exploration elsewhere. Also, as the book focuses exclusively on the ministerial priesthood, it would have been nice to investigate how these priestly roles translate to the "common priesthood" of all Catholics.

With so much anger and calumny directed toward priests today, we sorely need resources that rediscover the beauty and allure of the priesthood. Despite its brevity, Hahn's book does just that. "Many Are Called" is a book the Church needs right now, one that should be given to all young men considering the priesthood, along with anyone curious about the roles of Catholic priests.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 22, 2014
Many are Called is a recent (2010) and lesser known book by Scott Hahn. Perhaps, it is because the tagline is "Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood," and many people pass it over because they believe it is a book for priests, not for a lay person like them. WRONG! While, this book is definitely an excellent read for priests and seminarians, there is value in it for the laity as well.

The book starts off explaining what real masculinity is. Dr. Hahn then contrasts this to counterfeit masculinity or machismo, which is what our culture likes to push down the throats of our young men. The second chapter reviews the essentials of priesthood. It is more than a job or a ministry. It is a vocation. It leaves an indelible mark on your soul, so that a priest is a priest forever. A priest also receives the power to turn bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ (Eucharist) and the power to forgive sins (Confession). He receives these gifts because he is acting in place of Christ here on earth. The next nine chapters discuss roles of a priest, such as Father, Mediator, Bridegroom, etc.

Perhaps, the most troubling chapters to me were the one on priest as Father and the one on priest as Celibate Father. Both of these chapters take a very Roman Rite viewpoint. It assumes that priests must be unmarried, except in rare circumstances. However, if you look at the Eastern Rite churches (in full communion with the pope) married priests are allowed and quite common. However, there is no such thing as a married bishop. This Western focus aside, I found this to be a very informative book. Priests today have a very thankless "job," and are under a lot of undue scrutiny and criticism. If you would like to understand the vocation of priesthood better, read this book. Then, buy a copy for your parish priest(s) and seminarian(s).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2014
Many are Called: Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood is a slim volume in which Catholic scholar Scott Hahn shows his admiration and appreciation for this ancient and venerable ministry. Over the course of 12 chapters Hahn examines the priesthood in Scripture and history while highlighting the many roles that a priest plays, namely father, mediator, provider, teacher, warrior, judge, bridegroom, and brother.

He presents a redemptive-historical narrative in which the father was originally the priest of the family who passed down the role to his sons. Israel, then, was a nation of priests. But after the golden calf incident God stripped the nation of the priesthood and appointed a single tribe to serve the function.

Fast forward to the New Testament and we find Christ as our heavenly high priest; the one to whom the priesthood has always pointed. His body, the church, is an extension of himself and as such we are once again a nation of priests. But there are a sect of priests who serve the nation. They are the fathers to the fatherless; mediators (as extensions of Christ himself) between God and man; teachers of the laity; spiritual warriors charged with defending the faith and battling spiritual wickedness through prayer and fasting; and so much more.

Hahn does a great job of showing just how multifaceted the priesthood is while setting up a plausible foundation for the office based on Scripture. Where he doesn't succeed, in my opinion, is in his case for celibacy. Sure, the Apostle Paul says that one can devote himself wholly to Christ if he does not marry, but he also says it's better to marry than burn with desire. History is full of tales of priests who have carried on affairs with women and have even sired secret families. Had they been allowed to marry, as for example, the priests in the Orthodox Church, then there would be nothing scandalous about this. Add to this the fact that Peter, the first pope, was married and it becomes hard to see a reason for making this a necessary vow for priests to make.

I was also somewhat disappointed with Hahn's closing remarks about the frailty of priests. Of course we recognize that they're human and on this side of eternity they'll make mistakes and fall short of perfection. But the manner in which these remarks are presented seem like a thinly veiled defense of those caught up in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandals. This volume would have been stronger had this material been omitted. But there is much to be gleaned from Hahn's focused treatment and the positive features outweigh the negative.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2014
Hahn has become synonymous with two things in the field of religious writing (though I know of no other field of which he is a part), the first is of Biblical Theology and the second if Apologetics (though I would argue this is just a natural byproduct of the first). One sees the former on full display in this short work with the second a not much more than an afterthought. I do not say this critically, there is a time and a place for apologetics related to the "glory of the priesthood" and it was just not the aim of this particular work. Having read many of Hahn's books and reflections, this sounded very similar, which, I guess, makes sense. This book was well-written and engaging with some clever insights. Because it is written by a layman, it can be appreciated by both clergy and layman alike and could prove an effective gift to a discerning young man, seminarian and experienced priest with an openness to this rediscovery". It should be noted that this is not solely for those receiving or received of Holy Orders, since we are all called to share in Christ's priesthood, therefore making this book appropriate for anyone. As everything Hahn writes, it is not meant to be read in isolation, its own end in mind, but always pointing to something greater, God's Word, to what Hahn always points his reader to re-examine. If this does nothing else, it is worth the relatively short time one will spend with this book.

Original publication year: 2010
Pages: approx. 160

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2014
This book is a small book, less than 200 pages, but packed with much info. 160 pages that could probably be condensed into 120 or so pages.
This was written with the 'lay person' in mind about the priesthood. Dr. Hahn tals about the different roles of men, such as being a father, leader, warrior, teacher, bridegrrom. This is just a small idea of what we should and do expect from men and that these roles may and can be justified so to speak for priesthood.
Most people think a priest as being nothing more than a minister but he is much mre than that. Dr. Hahn dicusses that in some detail. I find that this book does justice in that he explains the role of the priest and it's calling. I think that this book would help 'bolster' priests in a much better view/light.
I enjoyed this book as I do all the other books of Dr.Hahn that I have read so far.
I received this book from waterman.com/blogging for books in a exchange for a honest review.
I cannot wait for his newest book!
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on April 26, 2015
Very good, readable book. The images for the priest that he presents are so refreshing and well stated. Excellent
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2014
Scott Hahn is a Catholic Convert, and has many experiences with his background in the Protestant faith...that he explains very well and is very trusting to read from!!!!! I would recommend all of his books to be read.....!!!!!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2014
There are many words of wisdom that can be gained from reading this book. Dr. Scott Hahn has captured the essence of priesthood and its beauty in a world that is looking for father's to lead their families.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2013
Greatest Explanation about what is really the Priesthood, Every Catholic must read this Book
... GOD bless Dr. Scott Hahn.,,,
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2012
I am discerning a vocation to the Priesthood. I heard about this author so I decided to give him a try. This is a very good book for anyone considering a vocation. ALthough I would not suggest you stop at this one book, it is a must on a list of books to read while you are discerning. Very helpful and insightful with good points supported by biblical quotes.

Highly recommended.
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