This Sunday is Priesthood Sunday. It is traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday in October. It is a special day set aside to honor the priesthood in the United States. It is a day to reflect upon and affirm the role of the priesthood in the life of the Church. The day is coordinated by the USA Council of Serra International. We are reminded in a special way on this day that the priest is the instrument of Christ’s ministry on Earth. It has been often said that without the priest there is no Eucharist. Without the Eucharist, there is no Church. The Council of Serra encourages Catholics to show their support for their priests through prayer, celebration, and dialogue. Serran representative Gary Davis stated “…Affirming and supporting our priests are some of the most important things that we can do as Serrans.”
The Serrans, the Knights of Columbus, and other Catholic organizations also call on all of us to foster a greater need for awareness of vocations. This vocation awareness can be fostered through retreats, and conferences, and through magazines and brochures, and in other effective ways. But I believe that the most effective way to foster vocations is through the witnessing of the joy of ministry of happy, holy, and healthy young priests, primarily in a parish environment. At Saint Brigid, we have been blessed with many fine young priests. When young people see Fr. Tri, or Fr. Josh, or Fr. Dan or Fr. Brian serving our Church with joy, they may be inspired to consider that the Lord may be calling them to the priestly life.
As a Catholic parish priest, I thank God each day for the gift of my vocation. As I consider the gift of priesthood, I want to once again repeat the words of the Catholic priest and author, Fr. James Lisante who was asked, “Why would someone want to be a priest?”
He said: “To be a giver and not a taker.
To leave the world just a little better than he found it;
To recognize that this world is not the whole story;
To challenge bad people to change their ways;
To challenge good people to do better;
To love without counting the cost;
To be a part of every family, without calling one his own;
To serve, not to be served;
And to follow the example of that simple carpenter from Nazareth.”
As we remember the words of Fr. Lisante, and as we celebrate Priesthood Sunday, we as priests are reminded that it is a great privilege to celebrate the Mass, and to minister the sacraments to the people of God. It is a great personal privilege for me to serve the people of Saint Brigid. On behalf of Fr. Tri and the many priests who assist us, I thank you for your continued support and prayers.