Proper priest "booking" etiquette

I know there’s no hard and fast rules about these types of things and that every situation/priest is different, but I’m looking for some general guidelines about proper etiquette when inviting a particular priest (not just any ol’ guy from a local parish) to speak at an event. I’m trying. to get a priest to come to and speak in front of my college’s Catholic Student Club, but I’ve never “booked” a priest before and I don’t want to pull any no-nos.

  1. If the priest is a local priest (I.e. someone who doesn’t normally “tour” who tour the country speaking like Father John Corapi), do you think they’d expect to be paid?
  2. If there’s not outright fee, is it customary to take a collection for the priest, and/or give him a stipend? If so, how much is an appropriate amount?
  3. It is appropriate to tell the priest what topic we’re interested in him/whoever comes to speak about?
  4. Is 4 weeks before an event decent enough notice?

I don’t want to sound clueless, and maybe I’m worrying too much. I just don’t want to rude. J

Any advice would be appreciated!

  • Dan

I often book priests as speakers for the parish. Yes they should receive an honorarium Our diocese has a set fee that they give speakers which is abougt a$175 for a one to two hour presentation. We give our speakers the same amount. Usually I offset this by taking up a free will collection and sometimes the parish makes some money on the event.

Usually we tell them what topic we want them to speak on…maybe not always that specific but at least in a general area.

I have found that 4 weeks usually is not enough time. Many priests, especially good speakers, are booked at least a few months in advance. They have parish activities, social functions and other speaking engagements. If you are just getting your parish priest you don’t have to pay him and probably don’t’ have to make arrangements too far in advance.

Please note that if the priest is from outside the diocese permission should be obtained from the chancery for the priest to teach. Your chancery office will provide guidelines and assistance. Call them.


This is not the case in every diocese. We do not need permission unless it is a diocesan event, such as a music director or DRE conference or a diocesan wide fundraising dinner for some organization. Individual parishes here do not have to go through the diocese regarding speakers.

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