Writing to priests, bishops, nuncio, Vatican offices with praise, rather than complaints

My friend Fr. Ray Blake posted to his blog about an outstanding idea (slightly edited).

[A] number of Scottish dioceses are going to become vacant soon, the same is true in England. What should one do? Write!

Write to the Congregation of Bishops

His Eminence Marc Card. Ouellet,
Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
Palazzo della Congregazioni
Piazza Pio XII
00120 Vatican City

Write to the Nuncio

His Grace
Archbishop Antonio Mennini
Apostolic Nuncio to the Court of St. James
54 Parkside,
Wimbledon London SW19 5NE

Write in praise of good and faithful priests. The Holy See is always pleased to hear of men who would make good bishops. The one complaint I hear from priests in Roman dicasteries is that they hear too little from Britain.

Before and after and whilst you write pray, pray for holy priest and even holier bishops.

For the sake of those on the other side of the Atlantic:

His Excellency
Most Reverend Carlo Maria Viganò
Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America
Apostolic Nunciature
3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20008

You might want to review my tips about how to write to a bishop or an office of the Holy See. Those notes have to do more with lodging complaints or perhaps petitioning for the use of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum, but they can be applied also to writing to thank someone or praise another. Of course in your letters of praise it okay to write about how you feel about the topic, but don’t go over the top into hagiography.

My experience is that many of the people who rouse themselves to write do so from ire or frustration.  As a result their missives are generally negative in content and in tone.  However, positive letters are very welcome and obtain real attention especially in that they are the so much rarer.

Consider writing positive letters to your priests and bishops when you see something going well.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, Our Catholic Identity. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. acroat says:

    Thank you for the post-very timely post as my visit with a bishop yesterday was about writing to my Metropolitan! Your guideline will be very helpful.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    This is important. I would suggest that in praising a priest that one is politically savvy, however.

  3. ContraMundum says:

    A good idea, but a bit dangerous. I imagine many good priests would appreciate the praise but react in horror to the idea of being a bishop. If a new Pope dresses in the “Room of Tears”, I imagine that a similar reaction would be natural from a new bishop — at least if he’s wise.

    I thank God that we have bishops and priests, just as I thank God that we have surgeons. And I thank God that I don’t have to be any of the above!

  4. MyBrokenFiat says:

    Besides considering the creation of a “My Pastor is better than your Pastor” bumper sticker, I wrote to Bishop Galante about the awesomeness of my pastor (who he will be installing this November). I hope the message gets to him in time. I really want him to understand how much we love and appreciate our pastor.

    I also sent my pastor a letter, too (though I kept myself anonymous for fear of blushing to death).


    So thanks for the reminder that they need some love, too.

Comments are closed.