10 Gifts for Your Priest

St. John Vianney is known as the patron of the parish priest. With his feast day quickly approaching (August 4th), it’s important to show the priests in our lives that we appreciate their sacrifice and service to the church. We’ve taken the time to ask a number of priests what they actually need. Check out their suggestions below.

  1. Money designated for specific needs – While Father has the power to forgive sins and turn ordinary bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord, he also has to worry about many of the things that laymen worry about, like saving for retirement, car payments, staying fit, etc. So give your priest some money to put in his retirement account, pay down his car, or put it toward a gym membership. Father will appreciate your pragmatism. 

  2. A Bottle of Father’s Favorite Bourbon or Whiskey – Father’s a busy man, but he can’t say no to a nice glass of bourbon or whiskey. Invite him over to enjoy a glass of his favorite bottle on your deck. It’s a great opportunity to get to know one another better, and he won’t complain if you send the bottle home with him.

  3. A Gift Card to their favorite Catholic Bookstore – Priests often have more Catholic books than they know what to do with. So rather than giving your priest another copy of Rome, Sweet Home or Augustine’s Confessions, give them a gift card to the local Catholic bookstore. He’ll appreciate it all the same.

  4. Clerical shirts – For the spiritually active priest, we recommend the Performance Clerical from Wicking Vicar. Machine washable, moisture-wicking, and wrinkle resistant, Father will be thanking you for this one for years to come. 

  5. A good coffee pot – Father loves Jesus. He also loves coffee, and he needs a coffee pot that will prepare him for a full day of witnessing to the Lord’s love, but also accommodate a meeting of the entire parish council or visiting family members. This coffee pot should do the trick.

  6. Invite him over for Dinner – Any meal that Father doesn’t have to make is a meal that he’ll love! Moreover, it’s a great way to introduce him to members of the parish he hasn’t met yet and make him feel more at home if he’s new to the parish.

  7. Real food (not just sweets) – If Father can’t make it for dinner, drop some food off at the rectory anyway; just try to go easy on the desserts. Priests are bombarded with sweets, especially during festive times of the year. As with everything, too much of a good thing can be bad. So the next time you want to treat your priest with a plate of cookies, consider the fact he might appreciate a nice pork chop instead.

  8. Hillbilly Thomists CD + Gear – If your priest loves bourbon, bluegrass, and the Bible, there’s no better gift than some merch from the Hillbilly Thomists! But if Father prefers ACDC over seven singing friars, Word on Fire’s Flannery O’Connor Collection would make a fine addition to any library. Just be sure to check that he doesn’t already own it (see no. 3). 

  9. Letters of Encouragement – As with any vocation, it’s nice to know you’re appreciated. The priesthood is no different. Take a few minutes to write Father a quick note just to let them know that you appreciate his work and sacrifice. A few sincere words can go a long way.

  10. Prayers – Above all, pray for your priest. The burdens borne by our priests are unique and specific to their vocation. As such, we must pray and fast for our priests. They need it. 

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