Celebrate Priesthood Sunday!

This year, Sunday, October 27, 2013

Priesthood Sunday is a special day set aside to honor Priesthood. It is a day to reflect upon and affirm the role of the Priesthood in the life of the Church as a central one. Traditionally scheduled for the fourth Sunday of October, this nationwide event is coordinated and sponsored by the USA Council of Serra International and endorsed by the Bishops of the various dioceses in the U.S.

What happens on Priesthood Sunday?

The deacons and lay faithful can develop their own special way of marking the day and honoring their parish priests both at Divine Liturgy and other parish events, such as coffee hour, social celebrations and Church School activities. Priesthood Sunday is designed to be an event led by the laity, but you may ask your parish priest to participate by talking about how he experienced and answered his own calling and about priests who have inspired him. Priesthood Sunday offers an opportunity for priests and their parishioners to build a stronger working relationship. Together, they can dialogue to take an honest look at the challenges of the future and how they can collaborate to meet those challenges as a united force.

What is the USA Council of Serra International?

The USA Council of Serra International is an organization of lay men and women of the Roman Catholic Church whose mission is to foster and affirm Vocations to the ministerial priesthood and vowed religious life in the USA. More than 10,000 Serrans in over 250 clubs nationwide collaborate with their bishops, parishes and vocation directors to fulfill this mission. Through this ministry, Serrans work to further their common Catholic faith. If interested, visit the USA Council at www.serraus.org Fostering and affirming vocations is everyone’s responsibility.

How are Melkites involved?

In 2012, our Vocation Office adopted this national event and notified pastors and lay leaders to plan events to honor their priests. Some participating parishes were highlighted in an issue of Sophia Journal.

The National Association of Melkite Women (NAMW), whose role is to raise funds in assisting our seminarians, is a Melkite Catholic organization of our Eparchy of Newton. This group works within our parishes around the country in encouraging events to build up the supplemental funding of the seminarian.

This year, we again contacted the pastors and requested the contact information for all lay leaders of their parish organizations. In turn, information was shared with those parish lay leaders of our Melkite parishes. Parish lay leaders were directed to go to www.PriesthoodSunday.org to gain ideas of what can be done in the parishes. Please check with your Parish Sunday Bulletin or your parish lay leaders for Priesthood Sunday events or plans that might be specific to your community. In addition to official parish activities, in which we recommend all to be involved initially, we also offer the following which can be done by individuals in honoring Melkite priests:

How can I also honor my priest(s) as an individual?

Additionally, you might find the following list of ideas helpful in honoring your priest(s):

  • Pray for your own priest and all priests serving in the Melkite Eparchy of Newton and elsewhere.
  • Light a candle for him in church periodically throughout the year
  • Pray for the Vocation programs of the Melkite Eparchy – and for more people to be open to a call to the priesthood and also the diaconate and religious life of monastics, male and female
  • Personally thank your priest on Priesthood Sunday, and any day thereafter throughout the year
  • Send a thank you note or letter to your priest
  • Demonstrate your appreciation in your own way for his ministry
  • Ask the Church School Teachers to invite their students to write or draw individual notes of appreciation for their priest
  • Send cards to priests of other Melkite parishes (your own parish/mission office can assist you with names & addresses)
  • Invite your priest for dinner with your family or friends throughout the year
  • Send a card or letter to a Melkite priest who used to serve at your parish (your own parish/mission office can assist you with names & addresses)
  • Send a card or letter to a retired Melkite priest (your parish/mission office can assist you with names & addresses)
  • Contact the Eparchial Vocation Director and ask how you, your talent and/or your business can assist his office
  • Ask your parish priest about the “I am the Vine, you are the branches” icon Vocations program
Rt. Rev. Archimandrite John Azar
Eparchy of Newton
Vocation Office