Monday, February 4, 2019


I've always thought that, when it was possible, it always good to have more than one priest at a parish (which is becoming a rarer possibility.)  Just like one size really doesn't fit all (believe me, I would know, with my monkey legs and arms) one priest can't be to the liking of all people.  I know I am not everybody's cup of tea.  What person could be?  

Fr. Anthony and I are pretty different.  Our styles of ministry differ greatly.  If our pastoral ministry were symbolized by types of restaurants, it might look like this:
There is a time and a type of person who likes fine dining and sitting around and enjoying a meal.  There are other people who like take out - to grab food on the way to the next thing.  If you want a very personal encounter with a priest when getting your throat blessed on St. Blaise Day, you go to Fr. Anthony, if you want your throat blessed so that you can make it out of morning Mass in time to get to dinner, you go to me.
In the end, then, when you have variety, everybody wins.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stop it, Father - you are making me snort!

You are right. Every priest is different, just like every parishioner and parish is different. I, and I think the rest of our parishioners, really do *love* both our priests at St. Bernard's, whether they know it or not. I really don't know how we got so lucky to be sent both Fr. Frank and Fr. Chris - such fine, faithful priests, and truly good men. But, as you say, they have different styles, which complement one another. Just as the parishioners at St. Sebastian's are so blessed by you and your good Fr. Anthony, and the parishioners of St. Vincent are blessed by Fr. Norm.

You have no idea what a luxury it is for us parishioners to be able to walk into a Confessional, and no matter who is behind the screen, to know it is a kind-hearted priest who cares about us, who does not view his work as a job, but as a God-given vocation. And that we parishioners are not burdens, but souls for which he is responsible and who he truly wants to lead to Heaven. Or to go to Mass, and to be able to trust that our parish priests would *never* lead us to believe something less than faithful, but will lead us in prayer and preach to us with the Truth, not something that sounds politically correct and wishy-washy. And that they will be there for us when we face trouble.

We don't have to worry about avoiding one or another, because they are not mean-spirited, or perhaps new agey, but because they are sound, responsible, Godly priests. The fact that they are young, old, or have differing styles of preaching do not matter, because they speak with the authority of the Church, and the kind and loving heart of Jesus. We are well-aware that parishioners at other parishes (not in Akron, of course!) do not have this blessing and believe me, we do *not* take it for granted. Please know that we pray for our parish priests here in Akron daily, seriously, and without fail.

God bless you, Fr. Anthony, Fr. Norm, and our beloved Fr. Chris and Fr. Frank, the fine pastors and parochial vicars of our cluster parishes of St. Sebastian, St. Vincent, St. Bernard, and St. Mary - Sue from St. B