My wife is an absolute saint. Linda never forgets a birthday, an anniversary, or a holiday. She sends out frequent notes of congratulations, words of encouragement, and get well and sympathy cards. Our college-aged nieces and nephews love Linda’s thoughtful CARE packages. And she steadfastly believes that every Christmas card needs to be accompanied with a hand written letter.
Linda also sends birthday cards to a number local men studying in the seminary, and she remembers to send cards and thoughtful gifts to our parish priest. So it wasn’t too surprising to see a thank-you note arrive in today’s mail amongst the stack of unsolicited credit card applications.
Father K wrote a very nice handwritten message and thanked Linda for sending a ‘Minster Appreciation’ Card (I didn’t even know that Hallmark had such cards, but apparently they do!). What caught my attention was a short postscript written at the bottom of the page… Father K apologized for not writing sooner, but “things have been so crazy for the last month. My Dad is dying and in a hospice. Please keep us in your prayers!”
Wow! Those last few words reminded me (again) that even though our priests, seminarians, sisters, and all clergy are servants of God, they are all very human. They each have their own family obligations and stesses…beyond the day-to-day responsibilities and obligations associated with caring for a large and extended parish family.
So, what can we do to help our priests? Here’s a quick list to start:
1) Volunteer to help in the parish,
1) Say ‘thank you’ occasionally,
2) And most importantly, pray for our priests and seminarians!
“The priesthood is a gift from the heart of Christ, a gift for the church and for the world… Let us continue to remember all priests in our prayers, thanking Christ for this great gift of his love and asking him to keep them in his grace as faithful friends and ministers.” – Pope Benedict XVI