Wednesday, April 27, 2016


What are you going to do to protect yourself against the priest shortage?

In grade school you were ready to duck and cover.

You were ready for Y2K.

You may even be ready for the Zombie apocalypse.

But are you preparing for the priest shortage?

Here are some things you might want to consider.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES wait until the last dying breaths to call a priest to anoint someone.  It is completely unnecessary and dangerous.  Anointing should be done at the onset of a serious illness.  There are not a dozen parochial vicars sitting around on call anymore.  There are weekly stories of people calling around looking for a priest immediately and not being able to find one to come to the nursing home within the next couple of hours.  It is sad because it didn’t need to be that way.  Get anointed early.

Get to confession when you can.  Don’t wait until a week before Easter.  There are less priests and longer lines.  

Say your priest is ill, there are no other priests available and getting to another parish is unreasonable.  This does not mean that you are “off the hook.”  What are you going to do instead?  Can you look up the readings on line and study/discuss them?  Pray a rosary?  Make a holy hour?  What plan do you have in place?

What are you doing to keep your parish a vibrant place that attracts people and makes it more necessary that a priest be assigned there?  What are you doing as far as evangelization?  How are you helping fill the gaps by doing such things as taking communion to the homebound?

When was the last time you actively and on your own initiative promoted a vocation?  Have you suggested it to anybody?  Have you told a young man that you are praying for him?  Do you support and give encouragement to seminarians?  If you don’t know how to support a seminarian, ask your pastor.  If he says, “pray for them,” and walks away, Email me and I will tell you what you can do.

You were anointed prophet, king and priest at your baptism.  It is part of your office to promote vocations.  They don’t just happen out of thin air.  With support of the body, the limb withers.  So let us stop lamenting and start acting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your informative article, Father.

We will not have a problem at St. Bernard, since our pastor petitioned the Bishop to allow a protestant bishop's ordination to take place on Thursday. Since our church, consecrated for Catholic worship, is fine for the protestants to use for their heretical worship and "sacraments", it must be okay for us to go to them for spiritual assistance. Our bulletin even indicated that they would be including the "Eucharist" in their service, which our pastor did not bother to differentiate from our Eucharist, and did not warn our people not to partake. We were simply asked to welcome them to our beautiful, holy church in Christian friendship.

When I tried to get more information on why this is happening, I was met with a great deal of evasion. Finally, someone at the Chancery cited a document which allows this with the Bishop's permission. Personally, I believe this must surely be for Christians in war zones or rural areas with no Christian churches, not Akron, Ohio, which is home to numerous large, protestant churches.

From what I hear from people of this denomination, they selected our church because "it is large and pretty."

So this is what we sacrificed to support our Diocese and Rooted in Faith. We are being penalized for having a stunning church and keeping it in good shape.

Please pray for us.