When I was a young priest I used to bring communion to an elderly woman who would often puzzle over what on earth a priest would do on days other than Sunday. “You must be rather bored” she’d often say. “Oh, not exactly!” I would retort. “Well, what can you possibly have to do after you say Mass?” “Well, of course I am here visiting you!” “Well, that just takes a few minutes” she’d say. “Well, I do have few other things to do this week:”
- The other 15 sick calls I have through the week,
- the daily visits to the school,
- the evening appointments for marriage prep., marriage counseling, meetings with spiritual directees,
- Weekly RCIA instructions,
- Weekly Bible Study,
- Hospital calls,
- Funeral on Wednesday,
- Sermon prep,
- I have to remember to prepare of class notes for the Adult Education class on Sunday,
- 2pm Staff meeting,
- 10:00 am Saturday Parish Council,
- Finance Council meeting Thursday,
- Youth group meeting Friday night,
- School staff meeting Friday at 3:30pm
- Meeting with CCD teachers to discuss curriculum changes,
- Boiler contractor wants to discuss water treatment
- Gotta remember to call cleaning supply vendor regarding his proposal.
- Looks like the diocesan meeting was cancelled (whew!) but rescheduled for next week (whew!),
- The Synder’s want to schedule a house blessing,
- The interfaith network is a requesting a clergy meeting for next Tuesday
- Mr Evans has planned a meeting of the evangelization planning committee and I have to call and confirm that I can be there briefly to discuss the walking strategy on Wednesday evening before Bible Study.
- I should probably mention that there are often walk up appointments at the rectory requesting to see the priest,
- 15 – 20 Phone messages a day to be returned
- And then there’s those moments where a staff member sticks her head in the door and says, “Oh by the Father, the school staff is upset at the way the Ladies Guild left the stove on again and the principle wants to talk with you about it before the staff meeting.” “Oh, and Father? That strange man is back in the church again and he’s scaring the ladies in the rosary group. Could you go over and take a look?….And, by the way Father, remember to call Mrs. Deale who wants to start Eucharistic Adoration in the parish and wants you to preach more on it and attend an organizational meeting next Tuesday…..”
- Oh, I forgot to mention the evening Wedding this Saturday and that I make a daily holy hour and say Mass each day.
“Ah, yes,” I said to her: “Not much to do, really.”
And this description I gave her was all back in the days before cell phones, e-mail, and blogging! But its all good; just sometimes too much of a good thing! Yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. And truth be told, we priests are busy, but not so much busier than most people. I think of my brothers who work all day and then come home to homes full of kids and ten thousand, thousand things to do each week. Their wives too, have lists that are endless, and I’ll bet you do as well. Life is full, but also fulfilling, if we find some boundaries, and love what we do by God’s grace.
All this to introduce a very good video that depicts the week of a parish priest. It is a very good production which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I. The life of a priest is rich, and varied. But please understand that, from time to time when you call, we might not be at our desk waiting to answer the phone. The vineyard beckons!
Photo adapted from a photo at Edublogs