Next Sunday is Priesthood Sunday and I am not just going to remind you to thank your priests for giving their lives to serve you and all of our parishioners, I am going to join you in saluting our wonderful priests.
As bishop I am in a unique position to understand the contribution that priests make to our Church. By God’s grace, I am your bishop, but it is our priests who, in the words of Vatican II, “gather together God’s family…all of one mind and lead them in the Spirit, through Christ, to God the Father.”
I am grateful to our priests for their commitment to Christ in His Church, for their service to Christ in his people, and for making my ministry possible. We might say that Sunday is a special kind of Fathers’ Day, a day, not for honoring our natural fathers, but our spiritual fathers.
They are Fathers who bring Jesus’ presence to the passages of our lives. They baptize us, they reconcile us, they teach us, they marry us, they are with us on our journey to the Heavenly Father, and they are with us when we leave for the final passage home.
Sunday, when you tell Father how much you appreciate him, please also give him a pat on the back from me.