.- A new Catholic lay organization called EncouragePriests.org launched on Holy Thursday, April 1, to support clergy.
âCountless priests deserve our true gratitude and love, as so many lead sacrificial and humble lives. These noble men of God need our encouragement and could be uplifted by a simple prayer and a gentle word of appreciation from us,â said Tom Peterson, founder of the group.
In a press release EncouragePriests.org said billions of people have witnessed the service and dedication of Catholic priests throughout the centuries.
âSome recall the heroic and sacrificial example of military chaplains, priests who serve in nursing homes and hospitals, fathers who feed the poor, pastors who serve as peacemakers during marriage counseling, or priests who have celebrated a family wedding or funeral Mass.â
The group claimed that the secular media is âlaser-focusedâ on âa handful of wayward priests who have betrayed Jesus and the teachings of His Church.â
âBut millions of faithful priests and bishops serve as heroic shepherds of their flocks, leading rewarding and spirit-filled lives of service to others.â
The EncouragePriests.org website is currently in development. The group says the site will help Catholics offer gifts of prayer, e-cards, printable greeting cards, video messages and blogs to show their gratitude and appreciation for priests.
The effort was established by Catholics Come Home, an organization which encourages lapsed Catholics to return to regular practice of their faith. Like Catholics Come Home, EncouragePriests.org plans to air TV commercials supporting the humanitarian efforts of priests and encouraging more vocations.
The site is scheduled to launch on June 20, Fatherâs Day.