A press release for people who are trying to think of something nice to do for a priest they love
WEB SITE TO BOOST MORALE OF ETHICAL PRIESTS GARNERS EARLY SUCCESS
LOUISVILLE, KY – In just its first three months of operation, the www.thankyoufather.com Web site has welcomed more than 25,000 visitors and received approximately 2500 letters.
“This site has greatly exceeded our expectations, because we thought this would be just a small way for Louisville area Catholics to say thanks to their favorite priest,” said Rick Redman, one of the site’s creators. “Now, we’ve received letters from all over the world. It’s been nothing short of amazing.”
Thankyoufather.com was started to provide Catholics in the Archdiocese of Louisville an opportunity to send special uplifting messages to priests who have ethically and diligently ministered to the community over the years. However, when the site received international media attention, letters started pouring in from all over the world.
“We’ve received letters from New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Vietnam and India, just to name a few,” added Joe Lilly, another of the site’s creators. “Plus, the local letters are still coming in. We were especially pleased with a group of letters we recently received from second graders at a local elementary school. It shows that people or all ages are appreciative of the good and ethical priests who serve us every day.”
Reaction to the site from priests has been extremely positive. One wrote, “I am one of those moved to tears on occasion, so touched by what I read –not only by postings I recognize as directed to me, but by postings which evidence the faith and support of the People of God and which highlight the faithful service of so many of my brothers in the priesthood. I just wanted you to know, from me, how profound an impact your love-in-action has made on me and how your support lifts and energizes me. ”
The site does not, and will not, directly address the abuse crisis. Organizers agree that victims of abuse must receive justice. However, they stress that during this time, it’s also appropriate to recognize that the vast majority of priests have been true to their vows to live a Christ-like life. “The best thing people can do is to thank priests personally,” added Redman, “but this site has been added encouragement to all those good priests who shepherd us in our faith journey.”