Monday, June 21, 2010


A priest friend came by to see me the other day. For a number of reasons we have not been in touch for the past few years but circumstances are making it so it will be easier to get together again. The last time we spent any quality time together was before I was a pastor. So he asked me, “Do you like being a pastor?” It made me stop and think. Do I like it?

I guess the answer is yes I do. There are some things that I miss from being a parochial vicar. One is having time to do ministries that I do not have the time to do anymore, especially teaching. I used to teach a lot more – adults and in the school. There just is not physically time to do as much anymore. On the other hand now I am able to try to truly “father” a parish (in the bishop’s name of course) and try to foster a relationship with the Eucharist, with God, and to try to deepen people’s desire to be good people. I suppose it is like persons who have theories on parenting and then having the opportunity to put all of their ideas to the test. Would I actually make a good parent? Would I make a good pastor?

Perhaps surprising me the most is the amount of paperwork involved in this position. “Even if you are a saint,” a friend once told me, “you still have to get the paperwork in.”

When I was a kindergartener they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wanted to be a bus driver so I could meet new people all of the time, but I never wanted to go down the same street twice because that would be boring. Being a priest sort of fulfilled these requirements. I do meet new people all of the time. This morning as I type this I have been interrupted twice by people coming to sign up for the parish. And while there are certainties in the schedule (Mass times, meeting times) this vocation is so varied in its requirements that it always keeps one on one’s toes.

Right now we are in the process of hiring a new principal. The awesomeness of the task is considerable. This person will have a huge role in the life of these children, this parish, and this community. Being a principal of a Catholic school means more than merely being principal. In many ways you are also pasturing a community in a way that you don’t in other schools. The responsibilities are vastly different and greater. The process will take up most of the next two days.

Also on the agenda to be done this week is picking out the statue that will sit in the new plaza off of the brick parking lot. We are down to two. So now a decision needs to be made. No matter which one is picked, someone will not like it. On the other hand, no matter which one is picked, someone will love it. Decisions, decisions, decision . . .

So do I enjoy it? Yes, I do. It has its difficult times, but what vocation doesn’t? So mulling it over here on Mull Avenue I answer my priest friend, “I do enjoy being a pastor to such a great community.”


Robert M Kraus Sr said...

You mentioned the search for a principal. When I first learned that Mr Scheetz was gone . . . . . I wondered . . . . . . . why did he go? . . . . Did he not like it here anymore? Is he too old to cut the mustard? What's the answer? The answer might help in the search for a new guy.

rmk sr

Anonymous said...

As you say, Father, every vocation has its challenges. Do we enjoy having you as our Pastor? The answer is a resounding YES!