Monday, September 8, 2008



So a phone call followed by a letter came asking me to come downtown to the chancery to be interviewed for a possible pastorate. As one does for such things you put on your most professional duds (yes, there is a wide range of clerics from very relaxed to exceedingly formal) and took the trek downtown Cleveland. My intent was to be painstakingly on time. I parked my car in the cathedral parking deck, walked down East 9th street to the chancery building, gave identification to the ever vigilant building guard, and per instruction took the elevator up to the second floor and took a seat in the waiting room (you can sit here in the waiting room or wait here in the sitting room), took out a book until somebody would be out to fetch me.

The personnel board, as far as experience has shown, has never been horribly off schedule but this day it seemed so. Ten minutes went by, fifteen, twenty . . . It would have been nice, I thought, if they would send somebody out to say, “Sorry, we are running late. We’ll be with you in a few minutes,” if for no other reason than to let me know that that they knew that I was here. But I pressed on reading my book. Then there was this nagging feeling to re-read the summons to the meeting. I was two hours early! With a laugh and a cringe I slunk from the place and headed to a good coffee shop to enjoy a java, a cookie, and the end of the book.

As it turned out the board was deadly on schedule after all. Credit must be given to them. There is no way that they could do what they need to do without the meeting having the possibility of being incredibly intimidating but they did admirably. In essence there are about seven priests sitting around a long table (at which you sit at the end) and they (kindly) fire off question at you. The contents of the meeting would be inappropriate to print but this was enough to give you a taste of the process. The meetings end with a prayer, a handshake and an escort from the building, a request not to discuss the contents of the meeting and the promise that at some point in the future you will hear something.



Oh the agony of it all!

To be continued . . .


Anonymous said...

Father, Regarding promptness, an old "Frank and Earnest" cartoon said it best: "I used to be on time for everything, but there was never anybody around to appreciate it." Seriously, we parishioners also had a chance to answer and ask questions as part of the pastor selection process (and we were not sworn to secrecy): why we were parishioners at St. Sebastian, what characteristics we would like to see in a pastor, what needs improvement at our parish. Next time you write about your experience in the selection process, I'll add a few things from that meeting. But one "desired characteristic" mentioned was the need for a pastor who still "has gas in his tank at the end of the day."

Odysseus said...

-I was two hours early! With a laugh and a cringe I slunk from the place and headed to a good coffee shop to enjoy a java, a cookie, and the end of the book.-

Ah, some of the best moments in life happen like that.

Fr. V said...

Pat - Gads - I'm laughing here wondering if I'll try to check them off. "Gas at end of day?" Check. Well - a lot of the time . . .

Rob! Yes! Ai Agree! And that turned out to be a nice afternoon of waiting when I would have been just doing busy work.