The Iowa couples and priests who are part of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) experience invite Iowa Catholics to give special recognition to priests on World Priest Day, Oct. 28.
World Priest Day is a celebration and affirmation of the men who commit their lives to the Lord and the church via the sacrament of holy orders. It is an opportunity for Catholic parishioners to thank, affirm and share their love and support for priests.
The first World Priest Day was celebrated on the third Sunday in September in 2000. The event grew from an idea in 1998, when the WWME community in the Diocese of Knoxville, Tenn., decided to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the diocese by honoring all their priests.
The concept was brought to the U.S. Secretariat leadership board. One year later, Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) officially established the third Sunday of September as World Priest Day.
In 2003 WWME reached out to the full church and invited other lay groups to join in the celebration. In June of 2006, WWME changed the day of World Priest Day to the fourth Sunday in October to coincide with the Serra Club’s celebration of Priesthood Sunday. This became effective in 2007.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter is the largest pro-marriage organization in the world and the WWME experience begins with a weekend for couples/priests who want to make their good marriages/priesthoods even better. Upcoming weekends in Iowa are Nov. 2-4 in Coralville; March 15-17 in La Crosse; April 12-14 in Ankeny and May 5-7 in Dubuque.
For more information, visit www.iowa-wwme.org.