Today — Sunday, October 26, 2008 — is World Priest Day, in which Catholic parishes celebrate and affirm those men who are call to commit themselves to Christ and his Church through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and an opportunity for parishioners to thank, affirm and convey our love and support for our priests.
World Priest Day is sponsored by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter (click the link to read the origins and history of this commemorative event). It is now celebrated on the 4th Sunday of October, in conjunction with the Serra Club’s Priesthood Sunday.
Deacon Greg Kandra gave a wonderful homily this morning in recognition of World Priest Day, which he posted to his blog. An excerpt:
Before I was ordained, I was talking with a classmate of mine, who said his pastor had some very simple advice about preaching. “Just remember,” he told him, “to tell the people that God loves them.”
I try to remember that myself every time I climb into this pulpit. But when you think of what priests do, what they bring to us, I think they do it even more powerfully and more profoundly. And they don’t do it with words.
Every absolution says: “God loves you.”
Every anointing says: “God loves you.”
Every elevation of the consecrated host at that altar says: “God loves you.”
It is a message we are hungry to hear. Especially now, with so much that is uncertain, when it is easy to lose sight of what matters.
Read the whole thing.
- Pope Benedict on the Priesthood:
Remember always the words of Jesus: “Abide in my love” (John 15:9). If you abide in Christ, you will bear much fruit. You have not chosen him, he has chosen you (cf. John 15:16). Here is the secret of your vocation and your mission! It is kept in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who watches over each one of you with a mother’s love. Have recourse to her, often and with confidence.
- The Pious Sodality of Church Ladies reminds us that “only about 4,000 of the 19,000 parishes in this country currently have more than one priest — with many priests serving two or more parishes by themselves. This should give us incentive to love and support our priests and pray for more vocations.
- NYPriest.com has a fine gallery depicting a priest’s vocation.