Priesthood Sunday

Priesthood Sunday

DO NOT BE AFRAID…

…to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel (cf. Rom 1:16). It is the time to preach it from the rooftops (cf. Mt 10:27). Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living, in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern metropolis. It is you who must “go out into the byroads” (Mt 22:9) and invite everyone you meet to the banquet which God has prepared for his people. The Gospel must not be kept hidden because of fear or indifference. It was never meant to be hidden away in private. It has to be put on a stand so that people may see its light and give praise to our heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:15-16). St John Paul.

On Oct. 30, Catholic parishes across the country will mark Priesthood Sunday in the same way they celebrate every Sunday — with the holy Eucharist.

For priests of the Archdiocese of Detroit, who on Sunday and every day of the week stand in persona Christi (in the “person of Christ”) to offer the sacraments on behalf of the Catholic faithful, there’s no better way to celebrate the gift

 

of the priesthood than by celebrating the Savior who gives it. Still, because God chooses human vessels to carry out His plans in the world, it is appropriate that Catholics across the archdiocese and the United States celebrate Priesthood Sunday each year to show their appreciation for the men who continue to say “yes” to God’s calling.

The courage and generosity of priests, in giving of themselves in countless untold ways, is ever more important in today’s Church. From attending to the practical needs of parishes and schools, giving of themselves through corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and dispensing God’s grace through the sacraments, the ministry of a priest is irreplaceable.

“The reasons for this celebration (of Priesthood Sunday) should be obvious. The number of priests per Catholic has declined over the past 40 years,” says Archbishop John G. Vlazny, retired Archbishop of Portland, Ore. “Yet without a priest, no parish is able to be a Eucharistic community. It is important to reaffirm the importance of the priesthood of Jesus Christ and its central place in the life of our Church.” For everything a priest does over the course of a year, Priesthood Sunday is a chance for parishioners to give back, whether through a simple “thank you,” a gesture of appreciation or word of encouragement.