Our parish priests do so much for us in their work to serve the Church and save souls. They are there to offer us the sacraments and present when we are searching for wisdom and guidance. I know of priests who spend countless hours in the Confessional and offering Spiritual Direction, schedule meetings for weddings and funerals late at night to accommodate the work schedule of their parishioners, give house blessings in the evening, within seconds run to offer the Last Rites to Catholics who are in their last moments before death, lead youth, young adult, and rosary groups, and the list can go on and on.
It is important that we let our priests know how much we are thankful for them, and appreciative of everything they do for us, especially now during these difficult and challenging times of living with COVID-19. In no particular order we can take a look at some ways in which we can show gratitude to our priests.
1. Pray for Our Priests
The most important thing that we can do for our priests is to pray for them. We can offer Holy Communion, a Rosary, an hour of adoration, Chaplet of Divine Mercy and our daily suffering for the sanctification of their souls.
Rosary for Priests
Divine Mercy Chaplet for Priests
Seven Sisters Apostolate
2. Attend Mass and Go to Confession
We can go to the Mass that he is celebrating and bring our friends and family. Sit in the front pews and let him know that you are offering your intentions for the Mass for him; in thanksgiving for his priesthood.
Priests love when we go to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please, just do it!
3. Celebrate His Special Days
For Father's birthday or the anniversary of his ordination make a donation to a favorite charity or to the parish. You can give him a book or a gift certificate, and offer him a spiritual bouquet. Write him a card and offer to cook or bake something for him. Take him out to celebrate the special occasion at a time most convenient for him.
Priest Greeting Cards
Priest Appreciation Cards
4. Offer to Help
Volunteer your time to help out at the parish. Maybe it's teaching religious education, working in the parish office, helping with sacristy work, lectoring, or assisting as an acolyte.
5. Thank Him
Let Father know that you are grateful for him and for his priesthood by verbally letting him know or writing him a note. Thank him for celebrating Mass and for offering Confession. Send him a card or make a video saying that you are thankful for him.
The Archdiocese of New York Young Adult Office is currently celebrating each Thursday as #ThankAPriestThursday, where young adults can send a photo with a caption or make a video thanking a priest, and it will be shared on social media. Perhaps, you can suggest such an idea for your diocese or even simply your parish.
There are so many ways that we can show gratitude for our priests, and I hope that these five ways for showing appreciation can inspire you to come up with your own ideas for doing something to thank the priests in your lives. We need to let them know how much we care, and how much we love them.