Celibacy and chastity featured theme of May-June issue of Catholic Herald

Cover story of news magazine for Sacramento diocese includes interviews with four priests who discuss celibacy

Bishop Jaime Soto is the publisher of The Catholic Herald. (image from Diocese of Sacramento)

The May-June issue of Catholic Herald magazine has been published. The theme for this issue is “celibacy and chastity.” The digital edition of the magazine is available here.

In the cover story of the May-June issue, Catholic Herald interviews four priests of the diocese who, in their own words, discussing embracing and living the promise of celibacy. They are Father Blaise Berg, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Vacaville; Father Andres Emmanuelli, parochial vicar of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Vallejo; Father William Kinane, pastor emeritus of St. Dominic Parish in Colfax (retired since 2008); and Father Guillermo Hernandez, pastor of St. Rose Parish in Sacramento and director of vocations for the Diocese of Sacramento. The four priests say that living the promise has its challenges, but celibacy is also a source of great joy, life and vitality for the church and God’s people.

Other stories in this issue include a feature on Dan and Justine Gemo, youth and young adult ministers at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Vallejo who married in August 2018, who say chastity is “possible and beautiful”; on Luz Manrique, religious education director at Divine Mercy Parish in Sacramento since July 2005, who on Aug. 15, 2015 entered into the ancient but little-known vocation of a consecrated virgin; on seminary formators from St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park and Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon, discuss how priesthood candidates prepare for chaste lives as priests; and on how the recent Echoes of Worth retreat for teens in the diocese imparted to them the main themes of the Theology of the Body.

Bishop Jaime Soto is the publisher of Catholic Herald magazine.

Full story at Diocese of Sacramento.


  1. St. Christopher says

    Dear CCD Readers (and assuming CCD Censors do not object): Do not trust the rulers of the institutional Church (some exceptions). Celibacy has scriptural roots and has been a source of spiritual power to countless generations of clergy. Do not ever forget that today’s Vatican largely seeks to make the Catholic Church Protestant in nature. All things, from liturgy to the commonest exercise of Catholic practice must be changed, must be altered to seem to reflect Man, not Christ. Unique things of the Church must be eliminated as “Medieval.” Mankind is sexual and everywhere the Church must elevate and cherish the right of Man to have sex. Support what has worked for eons of time within the Church.

  2. Trumpovsky says

    Dear CCD readers: please be discerning about posters who engage in either/or thinking and castigate many of the leaders of our beloved Church on the basis of ill intent and a gross misunderstanding of the history of the Church. Clerical celibacy was made mandatory in the 11th century. There are many married Catholic Priests in the Eastern Catholic Church, which is in communion with Rome, who provide excellent ministerial services.

    • Anonymous says

      Dear CCD readers, please remember that Jesus himself extoled those who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom.

    • St. Christopher says

      Come on CCD Censors, this is an ad hominem attack that deserves rebuttal. “Trumpovsky”: why not read the actual post and the fullness of Catholic Church history before engaging in ad hominem attacks. Check out what St. Paul and Christ say about the preference for celibacy; see, e.g., 1 Cor. 7: 32-35, 38; Matt. 19: 11-12, and the writings of countless early Church writers (far earlier than the 11th Century). Essentially, it is people like George Soros and his globalist ilk, what wish the Catholic Church to abandon its historic and Christ-given qualities. It is fine with these people for the institutional Church to become Protestant (which it largely is), as they pretty much stand for anything, particularly in areas of sexual ethics.

      • Trumpovsky says

        St Christopher: my post was not an ad hominem attack. It was a response to your misleading statements. Remember, those who disagree with your opinions are not necessarily wrong or attacking you!

    • “Clerical celibacy was made mandatory”

      And so it was…any questions?

      • Lou Varini says

        Thete are married Catholic priests. Just look at the Eastern Catholic Churches.

        It is the traditional discipline in the Latin Church of the West. However, exceptions to this discipline have also been made. Most notably, when married Episcopalian or Anglican priests convert and habe discetned that Catholic priestly status is desired, the local ordinary allows ordination.

      • Spanikopita says

        Celicacy (unmarried) is a “discipline”, not dogma, and is part of the Latin (Western) tradition.

        Melkite Catholic priests and other Eastern Catholic priests may be married.

      • Lou Varini says

        The exceptions to your assertion that clerical celibacy is “mandatory” are posted below. Therefore, how can you maintain an assertion to the contrary, that clerical celibacy is mandatory?

  3. Anonymous says

    I recall when young, long before the Council, priestly celibacy was an absolute– and all the world admired it greatly! To be a priest was considered the highest calling! Nearly every Catholic boy, at some point– considered possibly becoming a priest. Christ and His Most Blessed Mother stood for the holy Virtue of Chastity, and all prayed their Rosary, and aspired to it!

    • Anonymous says

      Yeah, but now sex is the sacrament of the secularist world. Kids these days can’t fathom anyone in his right mind giving up sex.

      • Anonymous says

        Anonymous— pray the Rosary!

      • Steve Seitz says

        I wish to add that celibacy has incredible sign value in the world. This sign value is especially significant in our “sex is god” culture. In short, the priest has so much confidence in his faith that he’s willing to give up sex and family for it.

        The problem is that we have not insignificant swaths of clergy who are unfaithful and corrupt. This drains celibacy of its sign value, and the media takes every opportunity to display this so as to destroy the Church.

        The laity needs to continue to demand reform. But these times also call for us to live our faith in a more radical, holy way to help offset the sins of the clergy.

    • Anonymous: I grew up in Boston back in the 50’s and 60’s and agree Catholic priests were highly respected for their erudition and their dedication to the Church as evidenced by their celibacy. I recall two priests walking through our neighborhood in their cassocks- sometimes smoking cigars! They were feared by most of the young boys. Later we learned one was an abuser. Appearances can be deceiving!

      • Anonymous says

        Patrick— unfortunately, there can be bad people in any field. However, a criminal is of Satan— a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Truly good priests were highly respected, a long time ago— and inspired many Catholic boys to become priests! A very fine calling— the highest one! Today, a young man called by God to become a priest, should be proud and happy to answer God’s call!

      • Anonymous says

        Patrick, sorry that you found out that a priest you knew, was a child abuser! Although there have been some very bad men in the priesthood– there have also always been a great number of excellent priests!
        Some have also been saints– like St. John Vianney, the Patron of parish priests! Many years ago, nearly every Catholic boy considered a vocation to the priesthood, at some point in his life– the priesthood was a very well-respected, high vocation! I was reading a USCCB report recently, that stated the Church has a total of 481 ordinations to the priesthood, this Spring! Wonderful!

    • Anonymous says

      I think your memory fails you. Priestly celibacy was never an absolute. I’m not sure when you were young long long before the council they told you about such things as married clergy. There have been and always will be married clergy.

  4. Please remember that celibacy and chastity are not the same. I may be wrong in my interpretation, but I got the sense from Dan and Justine Gemo’s statement that chastity is “possible and beautiful “ in the married state, that they are celibate. As I say, I could be completely wrong. We are ALL called to chastity….married, single, priest, religious…ALL. It is obvious how the unmarried are called to practice chastity. For the married it is not quite so obvious. I’ve actually heard someone say that the married cannot be chaste! Chastity refers to the proper use of sexuality by the married couple. That is, sexual relations must be for the unitive and procreative purposes God meant them to be. Any act that obstructs God’s purpose for…

    • Hippo Gus says

      Celibacy means “unmarried”, hence the word in French, “celibatere” means “bachelor.”

      Chastity refer to refraining from sexual acts.

      Thus, a person may be celibat, but not necessarily chaste.

      • Anonymous says

        Hippo Gus, Christ calls all to the Virtue of Chastity, according to their state in life— married, single, or in the priesthood or religious life. We all must cultivate a Pure Heart, and Pure Intentions to all! We must always see Christ in all our neighbors! The evil in human nature must be cleansed and perfected, to reflect the holiness of God— we were made in His Image!

        • Hippo Gus says

          Hot disagreeing, just making a clarification to some inconsistencies between the two terms.

          When faced with a contradiction, draw a distinction. (St. Thomas Aquinas)

          • Hippo Gus says

            No disagreement; however, there is a difference between the terms “celibacy” and “chastity.”

            As far a the unmarried “celibate” state goes, it is the preferred discipline.

      • Anonymous says

        Christians are all called to practice the Virtue of Chastity according to their state in life— married, single, priest or nun. We must always try to see Christ in our brothers and sisters– and seek Purity of Heart. A celibate, chaste Christian is not like a celibate non-Christian. Historically, there have been cases where men called to military service, or special services for an emperor, have been ordered not to marry, and to remain celibate. But the celibate Christian practices Chastity on a deeper level, seeing Christ in all people!

  5. Anonymous says

    Chastity in Marriage means to be strictly faithful to your spouse, in every sense, rooted firmly in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, living in Christ daily. You revere the sacredness of the marriage bed, you observe discipline and self-control in all your worldly interactions with the opposite sex, and refrain also from unchaste pictures, literature, TV, films, etc. True Catholic Marriage in Christ, is on a higher, spiritual level.

  6. Anonymous says

    A good Nation must be infused with Christian Morality– “Love thy neighbor,” and follow Christ’s moral teachings! Censorship of objectionable, harmful material, is a necessity! A Nation without moral guidance will eventually die a horrible death! We really do need the old Catholic Legion of Decency for films, and the “imprimatur” for Catholic books– and strict laws for all the media, and computers! Recently, I read where an online company, “Etsy,” is selling Catholic consecrated hosts to evildoers who perform Satanic rituals! These criminals should be arrested and face stiff punishments!

    • Anonymous says

      Etsy is a web host where people have their own shops and sell items like e-bay.. The items you are referring to were from someone in Germany. It has been said that a Catholic bought them to give to a priest.

      • Anonymous says

        Anonymous, did you look on that website, recently? The problem still exists! We need good laws to govern the world of the Internet! Even worse– are the terrible evils done by bullies, terrorists, sex slave and prostitution rings, pornographers, child pornographers— and criminals of all kinds!

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