Saturday, September 03, 2011

Priests with real jobs...



The parish priest.
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A couple of weeks ago I found myself complaining about anonymous commenters to my 'can't we all just get along - I'm just trying to bring people together' posts, and developed an entire conspiracy theory all by myself of how people are out to get me.  Elsewhere in the blogosphere other bloggers have complained of Internet stalkers going around harassing 'faithful' online Catholics with their nasty, provocative commentary and insults.   I've since settled down and put things into perspective:  No one is persecuting me.  I need to get a real job.
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Which brings me to the point of this post:  Priests with real jobs... The parish priest.
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The regular guy, the normal priest.  The priest who is shepherd to a thousand families or more.  The priest who ministers day in and day out and oversees a whole variety of programs, a school, all sorts of activities, as well as the nuts and bolts operations of running a 'plant' and balancing the books.  Maybe he doesn't do all of that alone - but he's the one in charge - albeit more or less subject to a board.  But you get the picture.
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The good pastor.
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Most importantly, the parish priest is the one who instructs and guides the faithful of his parish - he administers the sacraments and cares for his flock.  And frequently, he gets a lot of flak for how he does it - and if he is a 'faithful' Catholic priest, he may well find himself opposed, harassed, insulted, and even persecuted - not to the point of shedding blood however.
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Parish surveys and letters from pew-sitters.
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Last weekend my pastor printed the results of a recent parish survey.  I suspect such surveys are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fielding negative complaints from anonymous parishioners.  Oddly enough, my parish is, how do I say it?  Moderately liberal?  Although it was quite a bit more liberal a decade or so ago.  Yet the current pastor gradually restored such venerable Catholic practices like kneeling for the consecration and the use of altar servers, among many little disciplines that had gone into disuse over the years.  His homilies are always doctrinally sound, and his celebration of Mass and the sacraments is according to the rubrics.  He gets complaints about that being way too conservative and pre-Vatican II.
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Without going into all the details of the parish survey, I just want to say that if these folks complain about these relatively minor 'issues', what will they do in the next couple of months?  This month Father will be talking about Church teaching regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage.  After that, he will be talking about implementing the new missal.  If some of the people in the parish criticized and complained before, what will they do then?
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Parish priests - real men with real jobs.
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And yet I complain when someone disagrees with a post I wrote or calls me out for one of my many faults and indiscretions.    

13 comments:

  1. I have just read your thoughtful post out to Canon who is here in the office. He is now in his 88th year,having retired from parish work only 3 years ago.
    I asked him what he thought: He paused then replied "It goes with the territory."
    Much like your blog I'd say Terry.
    Blessings and prayers,
    Ann

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  2. Charlotte1:05 PM

    I don't think the changes coming in the "new" mass aren't all that mind-blowing, but then again, they're not nothing.

    However, I believe people are gonna freak when they get implemented. I just do. And I also (although I don't know how it's possible) think there's alot of priests who are just going to ignore it all unless told differently, and directly, by a bishop.

    I'm not sounding very positive, I know.

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  3. You wrote, -"how people are out to get me."
    You crack me up. Really you do.

    You often throw rocks at people because you love them in the same way that little boys pull hair or pinch girls whom they have affection for but then you can't figure out why people are stoning you back. hahahahaha Your very funny.

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  4. "Parish priests - real men with real jobs." I prefer: "Parish priests - real men with real vocations." Now I know that the other vocations in the Catholic faith are just as substantive and real, but I never thought of a priestly vocation as a "job". Perhaps in the scope of the diocesan priest vocation there may be activities or responsibilities that seem occupational in nature. But these things should be understood or seen in the context of the calling and not as a 9 to 5 profession. That's the way I looked at it when I was on the verge of entering the seminary.

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  5. I don't understand what the hysteria is over the new translation. I attended 2 Masses this week with a religious community that was using it to prepare and it is so nothing. The thing that will take the longest to get use to is "And with your spirit." If the priest said, "For many," I didn't even notice. At one point there was talk of suppressing all of the Eucharistic Prayers, save the Roman Canon and removing "For Thine is the Kingdom, the power, the glory..." Neither of those things has changed, unless I missed something.

    Things will settle down in a year and no one will remember the way it was said previously. I understand the most liberal congregations and religious communities aren't even planning on using the new translation anyway. It is funny how liberals are sounding more like traditionalists everyday--how can this change? God writes with crooked lines, maybe this will be a strange for the 2 groups to understand each other better.

    At any rate, pray for priests.

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  6. Tom - yes indeed, the priesthood is a vocation - and many priests have real jobs - I meant the term as a contrast between those priests who actually exercise a ministry and those who don't - such as priests who are online all day.

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  7. Priest's Housekeeper - your dear Canon is absolutely correct - and we ought to all toughen up. God bless!

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  8. Belinda - I'm glad you caught my humor there.

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  9. Clark Whitney, "and with your spirit" is the one I know! People don't always forget how things change; at my parish there are people who say things that aren't exactly what we say now. Hello, Holy Ghost!

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  10. Nan, I still say Holy Ghost. My grandparents always said Holy Ghost and I asked what the difference was and they said it is the same thing, but they changed it after VII. I still use it, which has been interesting when I have led the Rosary publicly.

    Older folks say, (shaking their heads in admiration) "We always called Him the Holy Ghost." Middle aged people ask, "Holy Ghost?!! Are you allowed to say that?!!" Young people ask, "Lol...What is the Holy Ghost?" Like, it's so weird it's cool.

    "Spirit" sounds like something from the Church of Oprah. "Remembering Your Spirit."

    I don't know...I'm almost with the liberals on the new translations. 40 years too late and they'll need updating in another 25 years and the Holy Father has ordered an overhaul of the entire liturgy, apparently. When we'll see that, who knows? I just found a newspaper from 1996 discussing the coming changes in the Roman Missal--just being released Advent of 2011. Your guess is as good as mine...sigh.

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  11. Anonymous9:28 PM

    Nan has a beautiful soul - I've seen it. It's about the size of a spool of thread, but it's impact is sonic.
    Boom.

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  12. Clark - the meaning of "Ghost" has changed in English (it actually had changed long before they started saying "Holy Spirit"). They still say "Heiliger Geist" in German, but "Geist" still retains its original meaning.

    In English it reminds people of Caspar and Ghostbusters. Disembodied spirit of a dead person that is often malevolent. "Spirit" is a much better translation of "Spiritus", and it fits in with other English uses of the word "spirit" (high-spirited, spiritual, a spirit of charity, etc.).

    "Holy Ghost", venerable though it is, is a fossil from an older time, and nostalgia is the only reason to continue using it (nothing wrong with that either).

    Then again, I always use "thee" ad "thou" in prayers, so go figure :) (and by the way those are the FAMILIAR forms, not the formal ones - Americans often get that backwards).

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  13. Anonymous 9:28? Who are you and why have you seen my soul? I didn't know that souls were visible.

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