June 23, 2023 - In an ambience of prayer and fraternity, a Mass of Thanksgiving for Priests was celebrated June 16, on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and World Day of Prayer for Priests.

Source - (Translated by the Archdiocese of Montreal)

The faithful gathered in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart in Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica to attend the ceremony, where they joined the many priests assembled to celebrate the Eucharist presided over by Fr. Yoland Ouellet, OMI, National Director for the French Sector of Pontifical Mission Societies in Canada. Fr. Ouellet was accompanied by Fr. Sylvain Cloutier, Director of the Œuvre des Vocations du Diocèse de Montréal (OVDM) and Fr. Guy Guindon, PSS, Rector of the Grand Séminaire de l’Archidiocèse de Montréal, who concelebrated the Mass. The two organizations partnered with Priests for Tomorrow in the coordination of this special event. 

"This day resonates with me because it is a fine opportunity for all of us to pray together for the vocations of missionaries and to set aside this time in fraternity and prayer, and above all in the Eucharist, to devote our prayers together to this common mission," said Fr. Cloutier. 

“Vocations to the priesthood transcend any single territory in importance," said Mr. Benoît Cardin, OVDM’s Director for planned giving. “The Œuvre pontifical de Saint-Pierre-Apôtre supports seminaries around the world, just as we do at the Foundation of the OVDM, serving the Archdiocese of Montreal, in a similar spirit to that of the early Christians, who pooled all their resources in common.” 

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The Mass of Thanksgiving for Priests, now in its fourth year, is celebrated on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and World Day of Prayer for Priests, as a time not only for prayer, but also for reflection on the significance of the priestly vocation. 

“It is important to pray for priests, whatever their age and at whatever point they may be in their lives," Fr. Cloutier stresses. “There are those who are quite happy in their ministry, but there are others who have to retire on account of serious illness. We must pray for them, because they are often alone; we must take care of them. Although they may not be alone, they lack the benefit of fellowship, and they find that they no longer have any mission. These priests have to find new meaning in their missions.” 

In addition, this day is a special moment of prayer for all those who will some day come to be ordained. “Seminarians are human beings - like everyone else - with their own faults and qualities," says one lady who has come to participate in the Mass. “They require even more prayer to support them as they follow through in their vocations, so that they will one day be ordained.” 

For Fr. Yoland Ouellet, OMI, the heart of Jesus "is the essential reason for becoming a priest. The mission of a priest is to reveal this love of God to all of humanity.” 


(Photo: Priests of tomorrow / José I. Sierra) 


On June 16, 2023, a Mass of Thanksgiving for Priests was held on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and World Day of Prayer for Priests. 

The special Mass was open to the public and was celebrated at 10:30 a.m. in Montreal, in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart in Notre-Dame Basilica.