God bless our priests: Thank our priest on Priesthood Sunday today, every day

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    U Matuna Si Yu’os staff

    Guam clergymen gather inside the Fr. Duenas Memorial School Phoenix Center in this Archdiocese of Agana file photo. Left to right: Fr. George Maddock, OFM Cap.; Fr. Patrick Garcia; Msgr. David I.A. Quitugua; Fr. Patrick Castro (partially hidden); and Msgr. Brigido Arroyo. U Matuna Si Yuos file photo by Tony C. Diaz
    Guam clergymen gather inside the Fr. Duenas Memorial School Phoenix
    Center in this Archdiocese of Agana file photo. Left to right: Fr. George
    Maddock, OFM Cap.; Fr. Patrick Garcia; Msgr. David I.A. Quitugua; Fr.
    Patrick Castro (partially hidden); and Msgr. Brigido Arroyo. U Matuna Si Yuos file photo by Tony C. Diaz

    In unity with Catholics through-out the country, the faithful of Guam are asked to take a moment today to especially pray for and express gratitude to our priests during Priesthood Sunday.

    The Association of the Diocesan Clergy of the Archdiocese of Agana (ADCA) gives thanks to the Lord and welcomes prayers for all priests on this day and every day, said newly-elected President, Palé Mike Crisostomo.

    Any gesture of kindness is a welcome thing, said Palé Mike. “We just want to encourage our parishioners on Priesthood Sunday to (initiate) a simple task of either just calling your priest and saying ‘thank you for being a priest’ or it could be taking him for lunch – it can be anything they want,” said Palé Mike.

    “Any kind of gesture of ‘we’re praying for you, we thank you for the life that you have given to God and to the Church and we’re here to support you as well,’ ” said Palé Mike.

    Formerly known as World Priest Day, Priesthood Sunday is celebrated on the last Sunday in October. This nationwide event is coordi- nated by the USA Council of Serra International. It is sponsored by the USA Council of Serra International and the Serra International Founda

    tion, an organization of lay men and women whose mission is to foster and affirm vocations to the ministe- rial priesthood and vowed religious life in the USA.

    Worldwide Marriage Encounter commemorates this day as World Priest Day “to celebrate and affirm the men who commit their lives to the Lord and the Church through priesthood.” Whether it’s called World Priest Day or Priesthood Sun- day, this day helps remind us of the vital role our clergy have in guiding us closer to God.

    Pope Francis likened priests to fathers who are called to give spiri- tual life, care and protection to oth- ers. “All of us, to exist, to become satisfied and to be mature have to feel the joy of paternity, even those of us who are celibate,” the pope said during one of his homilies last June. “Paternity is giving life to others,” he said. For priests, “it will be pastoral paternity, spiritual paternity, but it is giving life, becoming fathers.”

    Being a father is a grace the Lord gives, he said, highlighting the fact that people address priests as “fa- ther.”

    “People want us to be like that — fathers — with the grace of pastoral paternity,” he said.

    St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, once said, “After God, the priest is every- thing.” He once referred to the priest as “the steward of the good God, the distributor of His wealth.”

    Proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, the Church celebrated the Year for Priests 2009 to 2010 coinciding with and commemorating the 150th anniversary of St. John Vianney, considered a true example of a pastor at the service of Christ’s flock.