Though it’s not necessary, many parishioners like to get their parish priest a small gift at Christmastime. It can be hard to know what to get for your pastor, so we compiled a few ideas with the help of Fr. Tony Cutcher, priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and President of the National Federation of Priests Councils.
You could prepare a meal for your priest. “Here at Saint Peter’s, because my associate and myself are always so busy, we don’t have time to cook for ourselves. So what they’ve done is we have a couple who has organized a number of people and every Thursday, dinner magically appears on the doorstep. They just started this whole ministry to feed Father, and it’s amazing. And it’s fun, too, because I never know what I’m going to eat!” explained Fr. Cutcher on Morning Air®.
Inviting your parish priest to be a part of your family dinner is also a wonderful gift. “For me, it’s being in a normal family for a while. Because, living alone in a rectory, I don’t interact with children all that often. Although I have many of them in my schools, it’s not the same as sitting down and watching the family dynamic and being part of the family dynamic,” says Fr. Cutcher. You might think that your pastor doesn’t have time to come over for dinner, but keep inviting him. “I always tell people … please ask, and keep asking! Even if I say no half a dozen times because I’m booked, sooner or later, I will say yes.”
Be careful when considering a Catholic book or other gift for your priest, as they probably have quite a bit of these items already. “If you get your priest any sort of Catholic icons or things like that, very quickly our houses turn into Catholic museums and we just have tons of stuff.”
If you’re looking for a small, practical gift to give to a priest, a gift card for a gas station can be a big help! They are often travelling for their ministry, and those costs come out of their own pockets. Seminarians especially appreciate gas cards as they are travelling for school.
The most important gift that you can give to your parish priest costs nothing – prayers. Continue to pray for your priest to grow in holiness, to be strengthened in his ministry, and to be protected from evil.