Catholics honor priests in nationwide event


PROVIDENCE — On Sunday, Oct. 27, Catholic parishes throughout the diocese and the United States will show support for their priests with prayer, celebration and dialogue. Priesthood Sunday is a one-day celebration of the priesthood organized by parish lay leaders and coordinated by the USA Council of Serra International.

“The purpose of Priesthood Sunday is to engage every level of the church in the United States in a national conversation about the priesthood,” said Father Richard Vega, President of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils. NFPC represents more than 26,000 U.S. priests.

Priesthood Sunday was established in 2003 to provide a way for Catholic communities to express appreciation for the devoted priests who serve them so faithfully despite recent negative attention in the media. Such a celebration is increasingly relevant in light of the declining number of priests in the U.S. Only about 4,000 of the 19,000 parishes in this country currently have more than one priest. Many priests serve two or more parishes by themselves.

“Affirming and supporting our priests are some of the most important things that we can do as Serrans,” says Gary Davis, past president of the USA Council of Serra International, the non-profit organization coordinating Priesthood Sunday. The USA Council is responsible for disseminating information to parishes interested in honoring their priests on this very special day. “Our priests give of themselves every day in so many different ways. It is an honor to recognize them in a manner in which entire parishes may join together in an outpouring of appreciation,” said Davis.

Priesthood Sunday is coordinated and sponsored by the USA Council of Serra International, which is a worldwide Catholic organization of lay men and women dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life. More than 10,000 members in 280 clubs are active in the United States.