What are good ways to support our priests?
I love praying the rosary for my parish priest and for all priests in the world. And I often let my priest know much I appreciate him. How are you all supporting your priests? And if there are priests reading this: what encourages you most?
What are good ways to support our priests?
I will often stop after Mass and point out a part of the Homily I found particularly inspiring, thanking him for that explanation.
If a Homily contains coverage of “controversial” material, I make a point of thanking him for having the courage to bring up those topics.
Our priests respond to email (!). I will occasionally send off an email announcing that I am saying a rosary, or devoting my time at Adoration for him. (And, of course, actually DO so.)
I think one must be judicious though. I used to give positive feedback, and was involved in many supportive ministries, but I encountered some traumatic misunderstanding of intention by a couple of priests over the years, consequently I pray for priests but mostly keep personal distance.
I can see that happening. At my age and -er- physical attributes, misinterpretation is unlikely. I can see that as being a real caution, though.
When he has a project that needs help, show up and help. Be one of those who allow him to keep the parish functioning. If he gives a talk or brings in a speaker, try to come. It’s embarrassing to have a speaker give a talk to a sparse crowd.
Show appreciation by saying, “You are a blessing; I thank the Lord for sending you” (because the glory is going to God). Let him know that his ministry makes a difference to you.
Don’t just pay attention at Mass (of course) but police your own posture to show you are paying attention. Keep your eyes trained where they ought to be. Listen to his homily closely enough that you can tell him what he said afterwards. It is discouraging to deliver a homily you’ve labored and prayed to prepare to a church full of people who are obviously reading the bulletin. Don’t sit in the back of church if there is nobody up front. Sit up closer and make it a point to leave a generous amount of room between yourself and that coveted aisle position. (I got the last suggestion from a priest who says it gets a little lonely up front with the Catholic “safety buffer” in place.)
Try to know what he actually needs or particularly enjoys and help give him that, rather than giving him gifts indiscriminately. (There are churches that could have quite the fundraiser if they were paid for all the decadent dessert treats given to their diabetic pastors.)
A couple of simple things: send him a birthday card on his birthday, or an ordination anniversary card on his ordination anniversary date.
At the weekday Mass I usually attend, the regular Mass attendees will all sign a birthday card or ordination anniversary card and give the priest the card after he finishes celebrating the Mass.
I just talk to my priest like he’s a regular guy. “Hey, how about Alabama, huh? They lost last week!” He seems to appreciate it, and I think he likes not having to deal with really serious stuff for a few minutes. That’s how I encourage him.
I am sorry to hear this, Trishie, that you got some traumatic misunderstanding of intentions. This is what I am also a bit afraid of, of misunderstanding of intentions. I am a Catholic Mother, married, so maybe then misunderstanding of intentions is not so likely? I would love to encourage my priest even more and also to give him a good book for Christmas to thank and encourage him, but I am a bit afraid of misunderstanding, of overdoing my encouragement of him… What do you think about this?
Fortunately, we can always pray for our priests in the hidden.
Thank you, CajunJoy65, This is what I too did so far. When I gave our priest a gift, I signed it with all our family’s names and I let my child give it to him.
But I would also love to send my priest a more personal note, to thank him for his personal counsel to me/to tell him how much he helped me grow in my faith. Do you think this is appropriate or perhaps not prudent?
Sure he would probably greatly appreciate that, hearing how his counsel helped you.
with the male parishioners especially, he talks hunting, college football, fishing, etc. He does seem to enjoy just talking to “the guys” about regular things.
I pray for mine. For my English class, I had to write a letter to someone I am thankful for and I chose my priest. Whenever we talk on the phone or I see him, I ask him how he is.
Over the years my parents have invited many priests home for a meal after mass,or priests have stayed over on their way through travelling or just drop in for a cuppa and a chat ,so I’m often able to be there .
Thank you for all of your great responses so far. It is heartwarming to read what you are all doing to encourage your priests. May God bless you all very much for this. Let us keep encouraging our priests and one another!
I wonder, maybe another strong encouragement for our priest is that we go to confession with him? Or do you think it rather discourages him, to hear our sins? I hope me going to confession with my priest encourages him more than all of my sins discourage him…
We have a small group that gets together every other week (evangelization/support/pretty much anything goes). We have taken turns a week each finding ways to show support for our priest. Cards, taking him out for a meal, letting him know we are praying for him, boot warmers ( he’s a hunter😁), Anniversary card for his ordination, etc.
This week we gave him a wreath. It was a circular metal card holder. Put a bow on it and attached, prayer cards, glove warmers, a card, and a Mass being offered.
Like we all know, it’s a lonely life they lead. Sometimes I think they just want some friendship and to kick back with a beer and talk about football.
One of my closest friends is a priest and has shared that he is often sad that so few come for confession and so many come for communion. Helping the priest keep mass reverent surely sounds like a good way to make the most of his efforts. We all want to succeed in our work.
During the homily, look up at him, smile at appropriate times. Let him know you are paying attention and not looking at your watch or reading the bulletin.
Recently an older lady held up the bulletin at eye level and took her time reading it, while the homily was going on. I felt bad for father, and I hated that there probably was teenagers, who maybe felt like Mass goes on forever, saw someone older totally disregard father’s homily. I don’t know why she couldn’t leave it lower on her lap rather than broadcast that she’s ignoring father.
Our Priest loves to read and quotes books often in his homily. Since I don’t have paper and pen on hand sometimes after Mass I ask him what the name of the book he quoted is and who the author is. He likes that people want to read the books he suggests.