Catholic clergy appreciate and can accept most gifts. As is true for giving a gift to anyone, take the priest's personality, taste and position into consideration when selecting an appropriate gift. Catholic writer Victoria M. Thorn writes on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website, "A priest is a man, clothed in tenderness, who speaks of God’s mercy, who prophetically pronounces the truth, unpleasant though it might be and who reflects God’s love to a hurting world." While you may want to honor his distinctive role, you need not necessarily keep with religious gifts. Priests enjoy music, movies, books and good food as much as lay people.
While Catholic priests serve as God's agents on earth, they are human with human tastes. Most, if not all, priests live austere lives and do not indulge in fine wines. Give a Catholic priest gift basket with a bottle of good wine with crackers, cheese and fruit. He will have occasion to share his good fortune with his brothers-in-Christ.
If the priest you know likes sports, music, comedy or any form of entertainment, give him a couple of tickets to a home game or concert. He will appreciate receiving more than one ticket. Priests generally like to share their gifts with members of their order with whom they share their lives.
Since Catholic priests interact with all levels of their communities, they are aware of the problems residents face. Whether the social problems include homelessness, unwed mothers or addiction, the priest you know can use your time to good purpose. Give him and his order a gift of volunteering to help those who are disenfranchised on the borders of society. The value of this type of gift cannot be calculated in material terms, which means you speak to a Catholic priest's heart when you volunteer.
- priest and bible image by Lars Christensen from Fotolia.com