Celebrate Priesthood Sunday
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October 28, 2012
Honor your Parish Priest and Pray to Open Ordination
Priesthood Sunday Organizing Kit
In late October hundreds of faithful Catholics will honor their parish priests and pray for a return to the ancient tradition of also permitting a married priesthood and women deacons in the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church. In 2011, at least 60 celebrations were held in parishes and private homes all over the US and seven other countries including Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, England, Ireland, Scotland, and the Netherlands.
The 2012 Organizing Kit includes the prayer service and all the materials you need to organize a celebration for your parish or faith community. Last year’s 60 celebrations were held in a variety of settings for groups large and small. If you are unable to organize an event but would like to celebrate Priesthood Sunday at your parish download our Prayers of the Faithful to read at Mass.
One priest wrote of his celebration: "When I preached on restoring the traditional married priesthood along side the single priesthood and when I talked about the opening that has been made for women to become deacons... the congregation applauded. It was quite spontaneous and most encouraging. Thanks for the info to help with this observance."
The FutureChurch 2012 prayer service includes two special blessing prayers. The first, “For Those Called to Serve the People of God in Ordained Ministry” offers our gratitude for those who currently serve our church:
O Holy God, we give you thanks for these men who have given their lives in service to your people. May they be filled with wisdom, holiness and discretion as they prepare homilies, lift up the downhearted, console the dying, witness marriages, meet with parish committees, reconcile sinners and celebrate the Eucharist, the sacrament of your risen presence with us.
The second, “Blessing Prayer For Those Whose Call to Serve in Ordained Ministry is Not Yet Recognized by the Institutional Church” advocates for those called by God to serve:
O Holy God, we give you thanks for the leading of your Spirit deep in the hearts of these your servants who experience a call to the priesthood or the diaconate but whose calls as yet go unrecognized by the institutional Church. May the Spirit of the living God renew within you a spirit of persevering holiness, faith and courage as you share with church leaders and churchgoers the good news of God’s action in your life.
FutureChurch encourages you to add an action component to your celebration:
Reach out at home. Sign and circulate the enclosed Open Letter to U.S. Bishops. The letter calls on U.S. bishops “to embrace your roles as shepherds” and “open dialogue about restoring our early traditions recognizing married and celibate priests and women deacons.”
Reach out to Rome with a postcard or e-postcard. Help us fill Church leadership mailboxes with paper postcard or electronic postcards. Addressed to Cardinal Piacenza, these postcards of permitting both a married and celibate clergy.
Join with us this fall in gathering your community to celebrate the gift of priesthood and advocate for the Roman Catholic Church to open ordination to include all those who receive God’s call.