It is not lost on me that there are still those who think the priest sits around in the rectory all day without much to do. Probably because there are priests who sit around all day in the rectory without much to do. But that is by design. The fact is that there is as much work to do as you are willing to do and then some. Like a parent or a doctor or what have you, you can give everything that you have and there would still be more that you could do.
Lately, particularly on the weekends, Fr. Pfeiffer and I have been helping out at various parishes in the area. I think a lot of priests are away and recuperating from Easter. So the phone has been ringing quite a bit lately from (sometimes not so close) parishes that need confession and Mass help and we have tried to be obliging.
Sometimes people will ask me to say something to Fr. Pfieffer on the weekend and I will have to tell them that it may be some time before I see him as we keep passing each other in the driveway. I finish Mass and take off to some place to say Mass as Fr. Pfeiffer is coming back from filling in elsewhere and running in to say the next Mass here.
It used to make me incredibly nervous to say a Mass at another place because things are always just a little bit different than that to which you have become accustomed. I've learned over the years just to role with the punches but sometimes the punches come back to bite you - er - hit you.
For example, the mics that we wear at St. Sebastian have a little switch on them so that I can turn it off and on as necessary. It is generally worn under my vesture so that it cannot be seen. The way I remember if it is on or not at St. Sebastian is to feel the switch. If it is toward the people, they can hear me. If it is away from them, it is off.
Now I am slightly dyslexic (dyslexics untie!) and the switches were reversed at parish I was at recently leading to this incident:
Also, you just grow accustomed to moving in a certain way and when it is reversed at another parish things can go awry.
But such is life. Even those embarrassing moments you learn to get over and most people don't notice anyway.
But back to the priest's schedules at St. Sebastian the past few weekends - they have been rather hectic. But I am glad people still want to see priests. It was interesting however that we didn't see much of each other the past couple of weekends gallivanting around the diocese as we did until I got to the last set of confessions I had and got out of my car in the parking lot:
I remember you. Fancy meeting you here.