The priest, the Pope explained to the Italian bishops, should be very attentive to the communal dimension of the Church. His sacrificial life nourishes the people entrusted to him and at the same time, they feed his faith.
'The pastor is converted and confirmed by the simple faith of the holy people of God, with whom he works and in whose heart he lives. This membership is the salt of the priest's life.'
In an individualistic world, the Pope said it is important to assess the relational attitude of candidates for the priesthood. They should go out to meet people and let themself be found by the people.
'In this poor time of social friendship, our first task is to build community. The relational attitude is, therefore, a decisive criterion for vocational discernment.'
The last key to the life of a pastor of the Church, the Pope said, is the brotherhood with other priests. He said those priests who are not able to sacrifice for them nor for their people are those that spread sadness.
'They calculate, weigh, do not risk anything for fear of losing ... They are the most unhappy. Our priest, however, with his límits, is one who gives himself totally: in the concrete conditions wherever his life and ministry have placed him, he offers himself freely, and with humility and joy.'
Pope Francis also talked about management structures and economic goods that priests have at hand. He said only those who can serve the people, allowing them to experience faith and charity must remain.