Affirming our bishops and priests Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008 -- 12:00 AM

Imagine if you walked into your church on Sunday and the sanctuary was empty. You waited, but no priest appeared. Is he sick, you wonder? What happened to him?

Editor's View
Mary C. Uhler

Elizabeth Shrier of Omaha, Neb., had that experience. “One afternoon, I was waiting for Mass to start at St. John’s and there was no priest. Some nuns were visiting from New York and they said they didn’t have a priest in all their parishes anymore. I thought, ‘What would it be like if there were no priests?’ And I asked myself, ‘What are you doing about it?’”

Grassroots effort to affirm the priesthood

Shrier is a member of the Omaha Serra Club, an international organization of lay men nd women whose mission is to foster and affirm vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life (I myself am a proud member of the Serra club). 

Shrier and others in the Serra Club across the United States have started Priesthood Sunday as a response to concern about the priesthood in this country. Held on the fourth Sunday of October, this is a special day set aside to honor the priesthood. It is a day to reflect upon and affirm the role of the priesthood in the life of the Catholic Church.

Priesthood Sunday is a grassroots effort of the lay faithful. It has developed from the concerns of the laity to honor their parish priests, both at Mass and other parish events, such as social celebrations and school activities.

Supporting our bishop and priests

Priesthood Sunday comes at an appropriate time in the Diocese of Madison. With the recent critical public letter to Bishop Robert C. Morlino published in the Wisconsin State Journal by a small group affiliated with Call to Action, many concerned Catholics supporting our bishop and our priests want to know how to respond. A large group of supporters of the bishop also bought an ad in the State Journal thanking the bishop for his “willingness to stand up for Truth in the face of attack.”

Supporters of the bishop have also started a Web site,, which has ways to thank the bishop and our priests for their vocations and service to the Church.

A prayer vigil has also been planned for Priesthood Sunday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m. at St. Patrick Church in downtown Madison. All people and priests are invited to gather to celebrate and offer prayers for Bishop Morlino and his brother priests of the diocese. You are invited to ask your priest to attend this prayer vigil and a reception following. RSVP is needed for priests only to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Our bishops and priests deserve our respect. We should show our appreciation for them not only on Priesthood Sunday, but throughout the year.

It is certainly NOT appropriate to disagree with our bishops or priests publicly. If we have concerns, they should be brought to them privately with respect and consideration for their feelings. Remember that bishops and priests are people, too!

To find out more about Priesthood Sunday go to or about the Serra Club go to