Saturday, August 22, 2009

Year of the Priest - Aug 9 2009

We have now entered the “Year of the Priest”. Throughout the year I will offer some reflections on priestly ministry in today’s Church. Several years back a survey was taken of pastors to see what kinds of activities occupied their time. One pastor wrote:
“The pastor teaches, though he himself must solicit his own classes and inquire after absentee pupils. He heals, although without medicine or scalpel. He is sometimes a legal advocate, often a social worker, something of an editor, and a bit of a philosopher or poet. He must alternate as an entertainer, salesperson, decorative piece for public functions and, through it all, he is expected to be a scholar. He visits the sick, officiates at marriages, buries the dead, consoles the sorrowful, admonishes sinners and tries to remain calm and cordial when criticized for not doing his duty. He plans programs, appoints committees, spends considerable time listening to problems and complaints. In between time, he does maintenance on equipment that should be replaced, prepares a homily and preaches it each weekend to the already converted and to critics of his insights and oratory then, on Monday, he smiles and remains silent when some jovial wag remarks, “what I wouldn’t do for your “cushy” job…one day a week. Ha!”
The parish priest is called to be “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.” It is a life that is never boring and often exhilarating. For me the secret is to get people to step forward to share the many ministries of the Church. “Many hands make light work.”
Fr. Bob Hawkins

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