Sunday, October 12, 2008
On Sunday, Oct. 26, Catholic parishes throughout the United States will show support for their priests with prayer, celebration and dialogue.
Priesthood Sunday was established by the National Federation of Priests’ Councils in 2003 to provide a way for Catholic communities to express appreciation for devoted priests who serve them so faithfully. Such a celebration is increasingly relevant in light of the declining number of priests in the United States. Only about 4,000 of the 19,000 parishes in this country currently have more than one priest. Many priests serve two or more parishes by themselves. Clearly, there is a great need for a show of love and support for the priesthood.
For more information about how people can participate in Priesthood Sunday, all are invited to visit www.priestsunday.org for many ideas on suggested liturgies, social celebrations, activities, reflections, and downloadable graphics, guides and posters. A complete downloadable 2008 Celebration Starter Kit can be found at these Web sites. Requests for printed material may be directed to the national office of Serra USA in Chicago at 888-777-6681.
Suggested activities that have been used to affirm and celebrate priests:
Plan a liturgy and include petitions for your priests during the Prayer of the Faithful.
Recite the World Priest Day Prayer as a Communion meditation at all weekend liturgies.
Incorporate your priest’s favorite hymn(s) into the liturgy for all weekend Masses.
Send cards/balloons/flowers/cookies/goodie baskets to your parish priest or bishop, telling them what their priesthood/leadership/friendship means to you.
Invite a priest or seminarian to a meal hosted by your parish, group or community.
Remember those particular priests who have ministered to you in the past and send a note/make a phone call/contact them and let them know of your gratitude.
Introduce yourself and family to your priest or bishop whom you have not met personally, either in person or by mail.
Take time before or after the weekend liturgies to recognize and appreciate your pastor and priests.
Compliment your priests as often as possible.
Get Catholic schools or religious education classes to participate in a poster or essay contest about what the priesthood means to them or involve them in writing notes/drawing pictures for the pastor/priests stationed at their parish; have them make special homemade gifts for their priests.
Conduct an all-night eucharistic vigil for the health, welfare and spiritual growth of all priests.
Solicit prayer/spiritual bouquets from parishioners and present them to the clergy.
Organize a parish potluck supper to celebrate “Father’s Day.”
Hold a coffee cake/donuts/pastry reception “honoring Father” following the Masses that weekend.
Create a banner to be displayed in front of the church.
Publish an open letter of appreciation for the pastor/priests in the parish bulletin.
[full Boston Pilot Article]
[car magnet information]