The year of the priest


Little late getting started, but I am curious as to what the various parish members of a Catholic Church are doing to keep THE YEAR OF THE PRIEST in everyone’s mind.

The Women’s Council at our Parish Church are beginning a Novena called ROSES FOR OUR LADY tomorrow beginning at the 4:00 Mass. This will last throughout the year until June 17, 2010. We have sign up sheets for folks to sign up for one or more days a month, three months at a time, to say a rosary, at a time and place of their choosing, for the intentions and support of Our Priests throughout the world, for our Seminarians, and for an increase for vocations to the Priesthood.

As I stated, we will have sign up sheets every three months for people to sign. We are also giving emphasis to the life and history of St. John Vianney by placing articles about him in the Church bulletin. Other articles will include stories of Our Lady in conjunction with the use of and stories of the Rosary, miracles, etc.

As our specific Patroness, we have chosen Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Protectress of the Americas and the unborn.

Please pray for the success of this venture and a greater reverence for the Rosary.

What is everyone else doing? Ideas needed.


To me, the year of the priest is all about supporting our priests and encouraging vocations to the priesthood.

I would like to see parishes educate their flock on how to nurture possible callings. We need to create an environment in the home and in the parish which allows our young men to be receptive to the sense that they are being called, and to know that they will be supported if try to look into it. Mothers and fathers must be willing to give their sons to the Lord, if the calling is there; and to suggest to their sons that when considering their future, the priesthood is in the realm of possibilities.

Ideas: encourage and promote regular confession, adoration, family prayer, eating family dinner together, active participation in the church, etc, and of course – pray for our priests and for increased vocations to the priesthood.


Besides praying for them every day, my personal thing for this year is to thank and encourage every priest I can.





Is anything special being done in your Parish to remind people this is The Year of the Priest?


There are Year of the Priest prayer cards on the literature rack that have a prayer for priests on them. There is also a Rosary card that has special prayers to say for priests when praying the Rosary.

We have had 3, I think, inserts so far in the bulletin. One was about the Year of the Priest, one was about the life of St. John Vianney, and one contained this beautiful prayer:

“The Beautiful Hands of a Priest”

We need them in life’s early morning,
We need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of true friendship,
We seek them when tasting life’s woes.

At the altar each day we behold them,
And the hands of a king on his throne
Are not equal to them in their greatness;
Their dignity stands all alone;

And when we are tempted and wander,
To pathways of shame and of sin,
It’s the hand of a priest that will absolve us–
Not once, but again and again.

And when we are taking life’s partner,
Other hands may prepare us a feast,
But the hand that will bless and unite us–
Is the beautiful hand of a priest.

God bless them and keep them all holy,
For the Host which their fingers caress;
When can a poor sinner do better,
Than to ask Him to guide thee and bless?

When the hour of death comes upon us,
May our courage and strength be increased,
Be seeing raised over us in blessing–
The beautiful hands of a priest.

[From an old prayer card ~ Anonymous author]


We have St. John Vianney prayer cards in our vestibule (narthex) but, aside from that… I haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. Which is sad. Because the Good Lord has blessed our parish… with not ONE… not TWO… but THREE outstanding priests.

Personally, we pray for our priests at home. I’d like to see the parish doing more… though.

God bless.


Do you have a Parish Women’s Council? That organization is where most of our “push” comes from.

We had our Rosary Sign up day today at the 4:00 Mass. We had 52 signers. We also have three more Masses tomorrow so hoping to get the calendars filled.

Pray for us.


That is a beautiful prayer. Do you mind if I use it for our Church bulletin? Very sweet. God Bless and sustain our Priests. We need them ever so much.

God Bless.


You are more than welcome to put that in your bulletin!

I was planning to laminate my copy and put it on the bulletin board in my CCD classroom.


Many thanks for those who have responded. But where are the hundreds of thousands others who are concerned about the lack of priests especially in the US? Do you realize we are considered a mission country by many outside the US because of the shortage of priests here? We need to pray a lot folks, honor our Priests and encourage an increase of vocations.


My feeling is that most people pay lip service to working to encourage an increase in vocations. It reminds me of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), meaning, people want more priests but they don’t want their son, brother, uncle, or nephew to be one.

The most I hear is that people will pray for priests, or pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood. That is essential of course, but more is required. It’s like the saying “Work like it all depends on you, pray like it all depends on God.” Well, we may pray like it depends on God, but I don’t think most people work to encourage vocations like it depends on them.

Do we raise our children with the Church being such an integral part of their lives that the thought of being a priest is more natural than foreign? How many families speak positively about the priesthood, get to know their priest as a person, discuss the priesthood as being in the realm of possibililties for any and all Catholic boys? Thinking about whether he has a vocation to the priesthood should be something that every Catholic boy seriously considers when he ponders his future.

I would ask everyone, what are you doing within your family – in addition to prayer – to encourage vocations to the priesthood?


And I would add to this: Encourage awareness within your Parish by keeping consciousness awake that we as the Catholic Church are in dire need of priests, that without a great increase in vocations to the Priesthood we will become even more weak and confused spiritually.

What you do in action to help further vocations for the priesthood doesn’t have to be extravagent. It can be as simple as putting a sign on a bulletin board reminding everyone it is the Year of the Priest and invite them to say the Rosary for the increase for vocations to the Priesthood. A reminder in the Church bulletin saying what your family is doing for this purpose. A reminder in the bulletin that Our Lady has advocated the praying of the Rosary for help in many difficulties. Stories of her appearances, prayers and stories of our many herioic priests placed in your Church bulletin. Much can be done using very little of your time.

The praying of the Rosary fell into much disuse since Vatican II. That is a shame, because the Rosary and the Blessed Virgin has always given strength to us as a Catholic Community. I hope people begin to use this way to Our Lord more often. It can change lives and the world.


I was listening to Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s show on the radio last night, and Fr. David Toups was explaining 4 things we can to for our priests during this special Year of the Priest.

Fr. Toups created an acronym, PEAK:

  1. Pray for your priest. All priests need our prayers. They need us to pray for them to be the priest that God called them to be. They need us to pray for them to become saints.

  2. Encourage vocations. We should encourage our young men to consider the priesthood as being in the realm of options as they think about their future. If you see a young man in your parish or family who seems to have the qualities of a good priest, suggest to him that he consider the priesthood. Fr. Toups said it’s helpful to say “I see in you…” For example, “I see in you compassion for the poor” etc.

  3. Affirm your priest. If he says a great homily, let him know! If celebrates a sacrament in a way that touches your heart, tell him. Priests hear a lot of complaints; it is very uplifting to them to receive a letter of encouragement.

  4. Know your faith. Know and understand the gift of the priesthood.

I was so impressed with Fr. Toups talk on PEAK on the show that I looked for more information found this short Youtube video in which Fr. Toup explains PEAK.

I encourage everyone to practice these 4 things during this Year of the Priest.


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