There's a strong chance that of all the birthdays Rev. William T. Campion has celebrated, perhaps this one will go down as his most cherished ever.

Campion, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Palmerton, was able to celebrate his day in style after he was honored with quite the distinction during Sunday morning mass.

At that time, Campion was presented with the Pope Benedict XVI's Papal Blessing in recognition of "The Year For Priests", and the day itself, which marked "Priesthood Sunday".

Deacon Bill Pitts delivered the presentation speech, at which point he told Campion he received the distinction from the parish family at Sacred Heart "as a loving gesture of our heartfelt gratitude and deep appreciation of you, our devoted Pastor and Shepherd."

"Thank you, Father Bill, for answering God's call to love and care for all of His children with tireless dedication and compassion.

"Father Bill, we pray for your intentions and we ask our Lord to guide you, protect you and grant you many years of abundant blessings, joy and happiness as you continue your loving service to God and your parish family.

"Thank you and God bless you, Father Bill. You are a wonderful Pastor."

Pitts then presented Campion with the Blessing. At that, the congregation gave their pastor a warm round of applause.

Campion, who appeared taken aback by the accolade, said the blessing was unexpected.

I'm not surprised very often," Campion said. I was surprised."

Campion then told his congregation how much he enjoys being a part of their lives.

I love being your pastor," he said. Thank you very much."

At that, the congregation sang "Happy Birthday" to Campion.

Campion then dismissed his congregation, many of whom came up afterward to personally congratulate him on this most joyous of occasions.