Serra Says, Thank Your Priest This Sunday

U.S. Parishes Dedicate Day for Appreciation

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CHICAGO, OCT. 25, 2007 (Zenit.org).- A nationwide campaign in the United States to "celebrate the priesthood" is set for this Sunday.



The U.S. Council of Serra International, a lay group dedicated to promoting vocations, is coordinating the event. It is organized at a parish level the last Sunday of October by lay people who want "to express appreciation for the devoted priests who serve them so faithfully," a statement from Serra International reported.

"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.

Serra International said: "Such a celebration is increasingly relevant in light of the declining number of priests in the United States. 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.

"The lay faithful of each parish, school or other ministry are asked to develop their own special way of marking the day and honoring both priesthood and their own priests."

Suggestions for liturgies and celebrations, as well as posters and guides are available at www.priestsunday.org.

"Affirming and supporting our priests are some of the most important things that we can do as Serrans," says Gary Davis, president of the U.S. Council of Serra International. "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."