Established in 2003 by the Serra Club, Priesthood Sunday is celebrated on the last Sunday of September as a way for Catholic communities to express appreciation for the devoted priests who serve them so faithfully.
As we reflect on all the good our priests do, what probably first comes to mind is their presence on the days that define who we are as Catholics: the day we get baptized, the day we receive Christ in the Eucharist, the day we receive His mercy in the confessional, the day we get married, and, finally, the day we will die. We thank God for the gift of our priests as it is through them we can experience God’s presence in the sacraments and celebrate the joys of our faith.
We also remember and are grateful for our priest’s unwavering presence as we cherish the celebration of the Mass every week and are nourished by the Eucharist. Our priests are always there to answer the call at a moment’s notice for care and guidance when we or our loved ones are ill, homebound, heartbroken, grieving, or near death. We hope that God will give them the wisdom, understanding, and strength to minister to a world filled with doubt, false prophets, and weak morals. And as instruments of God’s divine grace, we want them to experience joy in their ministry.
The most meaningful gift we can give in gratitude to these devoted men is prayer. So today, pray for the priest who baptized you…the priest who heard your first confession…the priest who gave you first communion…the priest or bishop who confirmed you…the priest who married you…priests who taught you… retired priests…faithful priests…tepid priests…missionary priests…priests who are lonely…priests who are tempted…and most importantly for our parish family to always embrace Fr John, Fr Robain, and Fr Michael and sustain their ministry by our love, our constant prayer and our trust in their guidance and leadership.
Where would the church be without our priests? Priesthood Sunday is also a day to renew our dedication to praying for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life. One’s vocation – or God’s plan for one’s life – is so much more than the four types we are taught: 1-Priesthood, 2-Religious Life, 3-Married Life, 4-Single Life. Our vocation is God’s dream for us. Like seeing a soaring eagle within the egg, or the great tree in the tiny mustard seed, or the saint within the sinner, God looks at each of us and sees a certain potential. So vocation isn’t just about choosing a direction or way of life – it is about love and making God’s dream come true.
To any young man in our parish who is discerning a call to the priesthood or who feels some attraction to priestly life and ministry, Fr John, Fr Robain, and Fr Michael would be happy to talk to you about their calls to the priesthood and answer any questions you might have.
May God grant all of us the grace to follow Christ’s call and the joy of inviting others to respond to that call in their own lives.
— Reflection by Pat Cremer
May a priest’s loving devotion to your Son Jesus in the Eucharist and to Mary his Mother be the twin fountains of fruitfulness for his ministry.
–St John Vianney
The Beautiful Hands of a Priest
We need them in life’s early morning,
we need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of friendship,
we seek them when tasting life’s woes.
At the altar each day we behold them,
and the hands of a king on his throne
are not equal to them in their greatness,
their dignity stands all alone.
And when we are tempted and wander
to pathways of shame and sin,
it’s the hand of a priest that will absolve us,
not once, but again and again;
And when we are taking life’s partner,
other hands may prepare us a feast,
but the hand that will bless and unite us
is the beautiful hand of a priest.
God bless them and keep them all holy
for the Host which their fingers caress,
when can a poor sinner do better
than to ask Him to guide thee and bless?
When the hour of death comes upon us
may our courage and strength be increased,
by seeing raised over us in anointing
the beautiful hands of a priest!
~ Author Unknown