The Year of the Priest ~ Thanking Your Parish Priest

This post was written by past Catholic Cuisine contributor Amy.

As many of you know this is the year of the priest. Many times these men give up their days off to tend to the ill, they wake at all hours to help us in any situation. I have been made very aware, over the last years especially, how much my parish priest means to me. He has been there for my family so many times I couldn’t even count them!

As many of you also know, most priests are very self-sacrificing. It is part of the job description. Any monetary gift you give a priest is very often put right back into the church.

It occurred to me a few years ago that one way to show appreciation for our priest was to make him something special. Not having a lot of resources, there was one thing I thought of immediately.


These are men who often live alone or in a community of other men. How often do they get warm homemade cookies? Unless they make them for themselves?

So the tradition began.

Every so often our priest will simply look at one of my kids and say "chocolate chips." They will giggle and run and ask me if we can make cookies for our priest.

Yesterday, after a wonderful meeting with our priest, I told him I had to stop at the store now and get some chocolate chips. His eyes lit up… he knew what was coming.

Amy Caroline’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks of butter, room temperature
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup DARK BROWN sugar (that is important!)
Cream together
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
Mix well.
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Mix well.
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 cup finely crushed walnuts or pecans (optional -- this is important too. Crush them very fine so that there are only small chunks and a lot of powder. It gives the flavor of the nut but doesn’t not overwhelm the flavor of the cookie overall)

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes. It should still appear gooey in the middle, otherwise it will overcook and get tasteless. Depending on what kind of brown sugar you use the cookie might be lighter in color, so do not worry if it is not overly brown.

My advice? When you bring these to your priest offer them warm and with a card from you and your family thanking them for all they do, not just for you but for your whole parish and the kingdom of God.

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  1. That looks like so much fun. I would love to bake for our priest but he specifically said NOT to in the bulletin, because he and the parochial vicar are on special diets. :( I would love to show my appreciation and when I can't do it with food, I get a little lost! I agree about the stipends; I'm happy for money to go towards the church but sometimes I want to give the priest something for himself. Sigh. Our priest is practically perfect besides his dietary restrictions. I'll live vicariously through you and your cookie-eating priest. :)

  2. Amy, these look great, I'll have to give our priests your code word, "chocolate chips" how fun!!

  3. Amy, this is a wonderful idea! My kids will love this. I'm always on the lookout for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, too, so we'll definitely be giving this one a try. :) (I'm with you on the finely-chopped pecans -- they add such a special flavor we usually save that touch for Christmas! But for our pastor, we may just have to make an exception.) :) Thanks for an excellent suggestion & reminder!

  4. Great idea! If your pastor is like mine and sometimes even gives away goodies (don't ask me how I know), then a basket of fruit could work well, too.
    I am looking forward to making the cookies and sending him home with them (and maybe some fruit) the next time he visits our family.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  5. Yes, he does share them, that is why I usually give him a whole batch! lol
    Thanks everyone!
    Amanda, I was thinking today another good way might be to make something like a scarf or hat too. It would probably be a nice surprise if he got it for no other reason than to thank him.

  6. What a great idea....can't wait to try the recipe! Thank You! :) Father Jim will LOVE these!

  7. This is a wonderful idea! Thank you for reminding us of a simple yet meaningful way of honoring our priests, particularly this year for priests ... I've also heard of doing something special for our priests on Holy Thursday, the day Christ instituted the priesthood!

  8. I LOVE your blog and, as a former cook to the Franciscans, I had to leave my two cents. The friars I worked for and, I imagine, many other priests, receive a ton of baked sweets. There are just piles of cookies and cakes on their kitchen counter. This wouldn't be so bad if so many of them didn't also have health problems made worse by eating sweets.
    I think homemade bread would be a good alternative. Or restaurant gift certificates always go over well.

  9. I love the pictures with the kids licking the mixer. I still do that, is so much fun!

    Liturgy of the Hours

  10. As a parish secretary, I can assure you that priests get TONS of sweets! Our priests put them out here in the office for everyone to share in, unfortunately for my waistline. Sweets are easy and "homey" to make, but, if one has to make food, I think it would be much more practical to give priests things like casseroles or roasts ro things like that that they can nibble on for regular meals.