A spiritual fatherhood
The young person thrown into life finds himself confronted with interrogations which he cannot meet alone. He discovers little by little the love in all its forms: the one which invites him to master his body, the one which directs him towards the other, and the one which accomplishes him in God by charity. His faith matures, his intelligence develops. Like a young sprout which contains in itself all the seeds of splendid fruits, the young person needs a tutor who comes to direct his growth in the right direction, the direction of the good. The mission of the educator is precisely to play this role of a tutor. It is first of all the specific task of the parents to give the children the necessary elements in order to become free and responsable men and women. It is also the role of the priest insofar as he completes the education of the parents, particularly in that which concern the faith. The young people who are entrusted to him deliberately leave the family in order to learn in another way.
The educator priest holds thus the place of a father among the young which at the same time carries a certain moral security and leads little by little the youth to engage themselves in life according to their own vocation. Like a father of a family, the educator priest, while ensuring the role of a tutor, leads the young person beyond his habitual securities in order to lead him there where he hasn’t already gone. He has therefore a particular vigilance to the different talents which God has placed in each young person in order to make them fruitful and put them at the service of the whole Church. Thus, the educator priest isn’t father in a carnal way, but by the spiritual fecundity that stems from his mission at the service of the youth.
To summarize, the priest is educator by his very priestly mission. Certain priests are it in a particular way for the youth as accompaniment of the education received by the parents, or even as an indispensable help for families in great difficulties, especially when it comes to the faith. The educator priest acts as a father for his children insofar as he transmits to the youth the life of God.