Links between priests and Holy Thursday

By Fr. Mark Mleziva | Special To the Compass | April 5, 2022


I know that Holy Thursday is about the Last Supper, but I am also told that it is an important day for priests. Can you tell me why?


To begin, Holy Thursday is certainly about the Last Supper. In the Holy Mass we celebrate that evening, we recall in a particular way that before Jesus entered into his passion and death, he gave us the way to remember that sacrifice for all time. Not only that, he gave us his very self in the Holy Eucharist as the way he remains with us always. This is one of the mysteries we celebrate that evening. 

However, it’s not the only mystery. The church also celebrates the holy priesthood that evening as well. As we know, we receive the Holy Eucharist through the hands of those whom God has called to minister to his people as priests. The Eucharist and the priesthood are so tied together that we cannot have one without the other.

In light of this, we celebrate both of these great sacraments — Eucharist and Holy Orders — in a beautiful way that night as it was that night when they were both instituted. Interesting enough, the church instructs the priests that this is what they should preach on for that evening. It’s not often that the church tells us what we should preach on, so the fact that she does here, should show us that this is truly important for us.

My hope, amid all this, is that it reminds us of how desperately we need good, holy priests. If we don’t have our priests, we don’t have the Eucharist, and if we don’t have the Eucharist, we don’t have our church. I can’t encourage you enough during Holy Thursday night, but every night as well, to ask the Lord to awaken the hearts of those he is calling to the priesthood.

If the Lord is calling them to this, I can say from experience, it is a wonderful life. I’ve been a priest for almost five years and I can truly say that I love it. The vocation of the priest is to help others to grow in holiness, which is both amazing and humbling.

If you know of any young man who may have a call to the priesthood, please encourage him to pray about it and/or reach out to one of us in the Vocation Office to help them discern that call. We also encourage everyone to join the Fiat Prayer Society to pray for more “yeses” to the vocations of the priesthood and religious life in our diocese. More information can be found on our website:

Have a blessed Triduum and Easter Season!

Fr. Mleziva is vocation director for the Diocese of Green Bay.

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