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Where would the church be without our priests? — Knights of Columbus call attention to ‘Priesthood Sunday’

Brennan Ferris has hands anointed with sacred chrism oil by Bishop Koenig during his ordination at the Cathedral of St. Peter Church, Saturday, May 21, 2022. Dialog photo/Don Blake

By Richard Johnson
Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus praise God for the gift of all priests, especially on Priesthood Sunday, Sept. 25.

Throughout the Diocese of Wilmington, we remember the priests from our parishes and schools including those who are retired or have been called to serve the church elsewhere.

From our bishop, the Most Rev. William E. Koenig, to our most recently ordained priest, Father Brennan Ferris, we rejoice in God’s great favor of extending the priesthood of Jesus Christ to send us these ordained men who have both the privilege of being called and the subsequent duty to serve. They rejoice in this ministry. We can and should be grateful for such service.

Remember that the Holy Sacraments mostly cannot be conferred without our priests.

Richard Johnson, state deputy, Knights of Columbus Delaware state council.

Try to imagine your life without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Without the Eucharist, the bread of life that sustains you. Without reconciliation, the Lord’s offer of complete forgiveness for your transgressions. Without the Anointing of the Sick, that strengthens and comforts you in times of physical distress. Without the funeral liturgy and rite of committal, which commends you to almighty God’s mercy and compassion. How empty life would your life be without our priests?

How great is the eternal triune God who gives us the gift of priesthood. How are we to respond to this gift?

When was the last time you expressed appreciation to a priest?

Sit down with your family members and friends and make a list of the priests who have served you, your family, your community. Then act:

* Pray for each of them (see daily prayer for priests, below).
* Call them and express your thanks.
* Send them a card or personally make a card for them.
* Write a personal note, perhaps enclosing a gift card for a meal.
* Let them know that you value their service.

A simple note, smile or phone call to assure him of your loving care and gratitude for his presence in the life of your local church will go a long way to serve the greater good of our wonderful and growing Catholic church. Celebrate and thank a priest today.

Daily Prayer for Priests (St. Thérèse)

O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Face of Thy Christ, and for love of Him Who is the eternal High-priest, have pity on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop’s hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.

O Jesus, I pray Thee for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests; for Thy priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Thy tempted priests; for Thy lonely and desolate priests; for Thy young priests; for Thy aged priests; for Thy sick priests; for Thy dying priests; for the souls of Thy priests in Purgatory.

But above all I commend to Thee the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed or helped me and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly (your priest’s name here). O Jesus, keep them all close to Thy heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.

Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us many and holy priests.


Will it make a difference?

Yes, it will. Every Catholic can make a difference if we all stand up and show our support for the sacredness of Christ’s priesthood and our thankfulness for the parish priest, who is there for us when we need him.

Priesthood Sunday is set aside to honor the priesthood in the United States. It is a day to reflect upon and affirm the role of the priesthood in the life of the church as a central one. It seeks to reaffirm the priesthood of Jesus Christ and its central place in the life of the church. This day also specifically honors priests, without whom the Holy Sacraments could not be conferred, for a single day out of the 365 days of the year during which they tirelessly serve their parishes. It is a day to pray for our priests, and to praise God for their vocation, courage and generosity.

Rick Johnson is state deputy, Knights of Columbus, Delaware State Council