Future of Priestly Ministry
Priesthood Sunday

Celebrate Priesthood Sunday
October 25, 2015

Download a Free Priesthood Sunday Organizing Kit

By 2019, half of all currently active priests plan on retiring. And yet, there is overwhelming evidence that the Catholic Church in the United States is gravely underprepared to provide them with a retirement that is reflective of their human dignity and which honors their service. Retired priests, and those considering retirement today currently face a multitude of issues that no person should have to face in retirement:

  • Insufficient pension benefits
  • Underfunded pension funds
  • Little or no long-term health care benefits
  • Little or no guidance to help them plan for retirement to make up for diocesan shortfalls
  • Lack of access to housing, especially skilled-care facilities
  • Spiritual and ministerial neglect

Celebrate Priesthood Sunday by honoring the ministry and service of senior and retired priests and advocating for a more dignified retirement on their behalf.  

Download a Free Priesthood Sunday Organizing Kit

Catholics with gather to pray for and affirm priests who have dedicated much of their lives in service to God and the Church, but whose unique financial, physical, spiritual, and emotional in retirement needs are going unmet. 

The fact that nearly 9,000 priests plan to retire in the next four years once again raises the need to acknowledge that there are many whose service is not yet welcomed in our churches. The addition of married priests and women deacons to our current priesthood would provide the support necessary to keep churches open and sacraments available.

Each year celebrations are held in parishes and private homes all over the US and countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and the Netherlands.

The Organizing Kit includes  all the materials you need to organize a celebration for your parish or faith community: 

  • Educational Articles including an in-depth study of priest retirement/pension funds throughout the U.S. 
  • Suggestions for Presentations and Discussions
  • A complete prayer service including prayers, readings, song choices, preaching tips, prayers of the faithful, a Litany for Retired Priests and a Prayer for Retired Priests
  • Advocacy materials including a letter you can send to your bishop asking him to take immediate actions to provide priests with a dignified retirement and options for advocating for optional celibacy and women deacons. 

Last year’s 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 download our Prayer and Advocacy resources for your individual use.