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In our Catholic faith, the priest serves “in Persona Christi” (in the Person of Christ), bringing us the saving grace of Jesus Christ through the sacraments by baptizing us into God’s family, reconciling us to Our Heavenly Father in the confessional, and bringing us the True Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist during the celebration of every Mass.

Yet, the world is quick to criticize priests. It seems like so many priests are often on the front lines of spiritual attacks by the secular media and other anti-Catholic individuals, who fail to see the beautiful example of countless holy priests who serve the Church with courageous virtue and dedication to the Gospel.

Our holy and heroic priests need encouragement.

Jesus calls every one of us to pray for our priests, so that they may be good shepherds of their flocks. As lay Catholics, we must also help non-Catholics to fully understand the noble vocation of the priesthood, which Jesus Himself instituted at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday.

The overwhelming majority of Catholic priests and bishops lead tremendously spirit-filled lives, bringing the light of Christ to all those around them. Sometimes we forget that priests, in their humanity, can feel tired and lonely too, just as we do. These humble servants of Our Lord and His Church should receive our true gratitude and love. Today, priests can be greatly uplifted by a simple prayer or a gentle word of appreciation from us!  

Saint John Vianney, the Patron Saint of Parish Priests, said: “If we were to fully realize what a priest is on earth, we would die: not of fright, but of love.” St. John Vianney also reminds us: “What use would be a house filled with gold, were there no one to open its door? The priest holds the key to the treasures of Heaven: it is he who opens the door.” 

How EncouragePriests.org helps 

EncouragePriests.org™ was launched publicly on Holy Thursday in 2010, by the non-profit Catholic media apostolate Catholics Come Home, Inc® (www.CatholicsComeHome.org), during the “Year for Priests” declared by Pope Benedict XVI. Our mission is to encourage priests and promote priestly vocations through our love and prayers.  

With your help, EncouragePriests.org also hopes to develop and air multimedia messages, recognizing the heroic nature of the priesthood and promoting vocations. 

Visitors to the EncouragePriests.org website will find many resources to learn more about the priesthood and show gratitude to priests who have touched their lives. Lay Catholics can print and deliver greeting cards of thanks or send short e-cards (“Collar-Hollers™) to their priests. 

EncouragePriests.org also collects and features written stories and one-minute video testimonial clips, from Catholics like you, who have a story to share about a priest who has inspired them.  

Please continue to pray for our beloved seminarians, priests, bishops and our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. We also appreciate your prayers and financial support for the apostolic work of EncouragePriests.org™ and CatholicsComeHome.org®. 

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