Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Perhaps you hear it all the time: if you want more priests, pray for young men and seminarians. If you want better priests, pray for them in their vocation. I know I always feel gratitude (and a bit of relief) when someone says that they are praying for my vocation. I take that prayer very seriously and know how important it is and from time to time will pray for those who keep my priesthood in their prayers.

That being said I am going to ask you for some prayers for a specific kind of priest – or better yet, a priest with a specific kind of ministry. There are some jobs that are just hard, dirty

jobs. They are none-the-less necessary for the proper running of the Church. They are “darned if you do and darned if you don’t” jobs. Sometimes they are very public. In the paper today it was announced that the Youngstown Diocese (our neighbor) has just named a priest to head the consolidation of parishes. They will close or merge many parish communities the result of which will be 25 less parishes. As in Cleveland, everybody knew something had to be done but no two people agreed on what that something was. The one thing that for sure was that whatever it was done, it was going to make a significant amount of people angry. I do not envy this guy his job.

In every diocese there is a priest who is the go-to guy when something goes wrong. Perhaps a priest is having some kind of difficulty, got caught doing something, is discovered to have fallen into addiction – you name it – and this priest is sent out to try to straighten things out. He is usually not popular with the person he is sent out to see, and while that priest can say what he pleases about the encounter, the one sent out by the diocese is to be mute.

I am thankful for these priests – mostly thankful that they have their jobs and I have mine and may we never switch places – but I do offer you my prayers. It’s a difficult job but someone has to do it. And I am glad it is you. God bless you brothers.


Anonymous said...

Father, I look forward to reading your blog each day. FYI: I pray for you by name as well as my own parish priest and all the clergy. Thank you so much for your role in the important work of spreading the Gospel online.

John Milton said...

"For neither man nor angel can discern
Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
Invisible, except to God alone,
By his permissive will, through heav'n and earth."

-Paradise Lost (book III, l. 682) priests.print.html

Trad Tom said...

I am so glad to have discovered your blog. I am actually in your diocese, in the greater Akron area, too.

I enjoy reading what you have to say and know that I would enjoy being a member of your parish. You have become one of the specific priests I pray for as I pray for the priesthood and vocations to it.

We actually have some mutual friends, and they speak quite highly of you.

God bless you --- ad multos annos!

Fr. V said...

Thanks Anon and Trad Tom!

Fr. V

Anonymous said...

Daily, I pray for all bishops and priests (including you,Father) who are loyal to our LORD. And then I pray for the conversion of those who are not.

Carol said...

Well, I can certainly witness to the fact that sometimes the apppointed "I'll cluster you if it's the last thing I do, you thankless wretches--here's what you Dire 4 said in confidence to me, which I showed another priest you've never met and whom I send now to yell at you ALL, despite your grieving your pastors who were forced to bite the dust and move in winter" is not suited to the task, and sometimes the Bishop sends a letter to a parish without the "Dear Souls" or the "Love, Your Bishop" over it all --who makes it clear (via extra people at the door to make sure your hands receive this cold letter) that he is not to be contacted about the matter again.

Indeed, I have to remind myself and/or accept another's reminder to pray for priests of all (service) kinds. Thanks for that reminder! You always prove that a hard matter takes only a little more charitable tact. Because of that example, I will try harder.