Good Heavens, It’s International Buy a Priest a Beer Day!

September 8, 2014

Grab your beer steins, buy a 6 pack, and ring the rectory doorbell—it’s the second Monday in September, also know as International Buy a Priest a Beer Day!

This festive holiday traces its origins back to the pious deed of St. Hopswald of Aleyard, the first man to buy his priest a beer. The legend goes that St. Hopswald, a master brewer by trade, was a Teutonic pagan who was converted and baptized by a zealous Catholic priest.

One day, St. Hopswald committed a grievous sin. Without wasting a moment, he ran quickly to his priest and confessed. Later that day, as he was particularly enjoying the peace of a clean conscience, St. Hopswald was so filled with gratitude for his priest’s sacramental ministry that he rushed to the rectory and offered to buy his priest a beer.

Okay, if you haven’t figured it out by now, St. Hopswald wasn’t real, but your priest is, and without priestly ministry, getting to heaven would be well nigh impossible!

Believe it or not, priests are real people, and they enjoy socializing over good food and drink as much as anyone. They also have a thankless and difficult job, a job that we couldn’t get to heaven without. Priests are the lifeblood of the Church, and they deserve some appreciation.

So with that in mind, I would challenge you to do something concrete to show appreciation to your priest today. Yes, it could be inviting him out for a beer, or it could be having him over to share dinner with your family. Be creative if you want, but give back to your priest somehow, and let him know that you are grateful for his ministry.

Of course, your priest may be insanely busy and unable to schedule a time for a lengthier visit. That’s okay.  Maybe you could leave a bottle of wine on his doorstep. You could also offer a rosary or a holy hour for him and his intentions (or better yet, more than one), and let him know that you are regularly praying for him. At the very least, express to him your gratitude, in person or via a note, for his faithful service and answering God’s call to the priesthood.

I fully expect there to be a lot of happy, encouraged priests by the end of today. Get to it!

Sam Guzman


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Reader Interactions


  1. Patrick whipp says

    Sam, GREAT blog. Maybe on the “Buy your priest a beer day”, you might want to send it out a week earlier, so guys could actually plan ahead and set up a time to do so. We had our good friend Father Brian over for dinner yesterday and he did actually drink the “nector of the gods” …… YUENGLING. Just a thought.
    Keep up the great work. I always forward to my Brother-In-Law, Lou who is a permanent Deacon in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. He likes the articles, as well.
    Patrick Whipp
    Livingston, New Jersey

  2. Peter Frank says

    Those of us in the Anglican world are unilaterally making this an ecumenical holiday. Hope you don’t mind us muscling in 🙂

  3. howdydave says

    My Uncle Bill agreed with you 100%!

    He was a Lutheran clergyman and he expressed frustration at some of his parishiners who, when they saw him walking to the door, would hide the beer that everybody was clearly drinking and offer him a cup of coffee or tea.

    “Clergymen are people, just like they are… They never stop to think that on a hot summer afternoon I might enjoy a beer just as much as they do!”

    My mother’s side of the family is from Wisconsin and we were all renound beer drinkers, even Uncle Bill!


  1. […] One of the disadvantages of living at the front of the world (first to see the sun each day) is that we are reminded of anniversary and celebration days by our European and American friends  a few hours too late. I sent a facebook birthday greeting to a friend in the US yesterday and he replied laughing that his birthday was still a day away for him. But more seriously, a Facebook priest friend in the US reminded me this morning (Tuesday)  that the second Monday in September is International “Buy a Priest a Beer Day.”. […]

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