Uplift Your Priest
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, priests are being called into great heroic action by offering the sacraments to the sick and dying, finding creative ways to serve parishioners, and maintaining empty parishes with limited staff support. In response, Houston-based Vocation Ministry is set to launch the first-ever nationwide “Uplift Your Priest” campaign from April 20 through May 1. The campaign is designed to inspire the laity to support and encourage their priests who are now on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and to let clergy know that their people recognize their current sacrifices.
Daily Deed Ideas
- Call/text/email your priest
- Send spiritual bouquets to him
- Drop off popcorn and snacks for movie night
- Send him drawings or paintings by children
- Pray, fast, and offer sacrifices for him
- Send him an Amazon or restaurant gift card
- Make a family video message/song of affirmation for him
- Create a sidewalk message in front of church/rectory
- Post a picture of your family with your priest
- Drop off or have dinner/lunch delivered
- Send financial support to the parish, if able
- Hold a “Parade of Love” for him
- Challenge 3 families/individuals to pray a Rosary for him (think Ice Bucket Challenge on social media)
- Invite him and other people or families for a digital “gathering”
- Write him a letter thanking him for his sacrifices
- Deliver any protective gear or cleaning supplies he may need
When posting on Social Media, consider:
- Use Social Media Frame on Facebook Uplift Your Priest
- Tag Vocation Ministry in your Facebook/Instagram Posts
- Use the Hashtags #Upliftyourpriest #Vocationministry #Bethelight
Daily Deeds in Action
Holy Spirit Catholic Parish in Sweetwater, Texas from the San Angelo Diocese took part in the Uplift Your Priest campaign and held a Love and Thanks Parade for Father Nilo Nalugon, Sr. Tita Iglesias, and Deacons Bill Butler and David Mendez. The outpouring of love and support was HUGE! Cars filled up the high school parking lot and the side roads to participate! (photo attached)
Hat tip: Ellie Mendez
Meet the Founder, Rhonda Gruenewald
Rhonda Gruenewald, a full-time wife and mother of two teenagers, converted to the faith thanks to her husband of 19 years, David. Prior to volunteering in the field of vocations, she graduated from the University of Texas in Austin and taught English, speech, and debate at a public high school for 6 years. Rhonda converted to Catholicism in 1999 and became active in parish life at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Houston, Texas.
Vocation Ministry has worked with more than 6,000 vocation promotors and ministries nationwide with that number increasing each year. “The demand is there,” says Rhonda. “People everywhere are passionate about increasing and nurturing vocations. I see it all over the country. This passion stems not only from a desire to foster more healthy vocations, but truly from people’s love for Christ and his Church. The Church of tomorrow already exists – we just have to begin to awaken it!”
Rhonda wrote Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry and its accompanying resource book and developed the website VocationMinistry.com to provide information, activities, and inspiration for anyone seeking to establish or revive a vocation ministry.
Rhonda continues to present workshops to parishioners, deacons, priests and religious to teach them how to do this important work at parishes all over the United States and Canada. Rhonda also shares the message of Vocation Ministry with priests at convocations.
“It’s an honor to more fully live my vocation to the priesthood during this unprecedented time. To know that my parishioners are behind me, praying for me, and offering their support does a great deal to lift my spirits and keep me focused on the work at hand. I’m very grateful for Vocation Ministry’s efforts to launch this campaign. I know many of my brother priests will feel the same.”