Had more ideas for great gifts to get for a newly ordained priest. Beyond the six I listed last week, here are six more, with some focusing on the priest and others on the man who is now a priest.
1) A Pyx with a Burse
I’m sorry I didn’t think about this before! Thanks to commenter HV Observer on the previous post for mentioning this awesome gift idea.
What is a priest for? To bring the Sacraments, most especially the Eucharist. A pyx is the golden container that he uses to transport the Eucharist when he’s visiting the sick and shut-ins.
A pyx can be bought for a reasonable sum, and can even be engraved with a dedication or an in memoriam or a prayer, etc.A pyx with a burse, which carries the pyx and is worn around the neck.
2) A gift card to a book seller
I mentioned that books are a seminarian’s last vice. Chances are he’ll have most books he really has desired or needed, and he’ll have a good idea of what books he wants or needs that he does not yet have. In other words: if you get him a book he may already have it or not really want it. So punt! Get him a gift card to a book seller. He’ll appreciate it.
I know some people don’t want to support Amazon.com, but a gift card to Ignatius Press, Emmaus Road, TAN, other good Catholic publishers or clearing houses (Loome’s, anyone?) would be good too.
(Speaking of Emmaus Road, I got word about another good book for preaching that they just recently published, The Sacred Conversation, by Father Joseph Mele, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.)
3) A nice bottle of scotch whisky
C’mon, while he’s a priest, he’s still a man. Now not everyone has matured enough to acquire the taste for a nice single malt, but that doesn’t mean a man can’t, and certainly doesn’t mean he shouldn’t. The ability to appreciate (in prudent moderation, of course) a good nurdle of scotch whisky from time to time marks a man who has learned to appreciate some of the finer things in life.
A priest should not be indulging in purchasing nice bottles of scotch with any regularity, of course, so it is up to those who appreciate his service to show him we appreciate his service and think he should take it easy every now and then, in style.
Dalwhinnie: A highland single malt with a lovely nose and a delicate taste. It doesn’t burn; it is not aggressive. Not too much of anything, just enough of everyting, balanced and nice.
Oban: pretty much a standard-setting highland malt. Can’t go wrong.
Laphroaig (pronounced “luh-FROIG”): Islay malt. Aggressive peaty flavor, which I love. The 10-year is like sucking on a sod of turf. If that doesn’t sound appealing you haven’t lived. For the same peatiness but less aggression on the palate go with the 15-year or higher.
Caol Illa (pronounced “cull EE-la”): Another Islay, so deliciously peaty, but more smooth than Laphroaig with a nice nutty backbone. A stellar scotch.
Talisker: Isle of Skye. Probably the best blend of the various regions’ typical flavors. A hint of peat, nice nuttiness, as smooth as the day is long. An extraordinary bottle.
I had a lowland malt that I cannot remember the name of (Glenkinchie, perhaps) that was probably my favorite bottle of scotch below $75 ever. Lowlands are hard to find, but worth the search and the money.
One of my favorite priestly ordination weekend memories was sitting around with fellow seminarians and newly ordained deacons and priests, sipping Chartreuse. An absolutely amazing combination of flavors that doesn’t quit. You taste different things each sip. The monks at the namesake monastery really have this craft perfected.It comes in two varieties: green and yellow. Which means they mastered their craft twice, because both are amazing.
6) Vespers Schola
A few years back Mount St. Mary’s Seminary Vespers Schola recorded an album. While I had left seminary just the previous semester they had already penciled me in to sing the Schubert Ave Maria, so they asked me to come for the recording. What, was I going to say no?
The plaintive, praising, soaring Biebl Ave Maria, an entire Sunday Vespers (the most beautiful liturgical moment of the seminary week) recorded, and some gorgeous hymns, including a triumphal rendition of “O God Beyond All Praising.” My contribution comes at the end. A really great album, if I do say so myself.
Call it shameless self-promotion: I call it a great gift idea!
So that’s it.
If the spirit moves you to get something else for “the guy” rather than for “the priest” (some good cigars, time at your condo on the beach…) I’m sure the gift will be appreciated and valued.