Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Parish Ministry: It's Not Dead Yet

From The Young Curmudgeon Priest-

Some may find it surprising that until I was about four months into my time as a transitional deacon, I was convinced that I would not enjoy parish ministry. When I had entered the discernment process for the priesthood I was sure I was going to spend my vocation in diocesan administration or perhaps running a nonprofit or charity. I never ever thought that I would be a parish priest. That has changed. I have only been ordained three years. I don't pretend to have experience experience or the knowledge that my colleagues have, but I have noticed a few things. And what I have noticed, that despite some drawing conclusions to the contrary, parish life is not dead. In fact, parish life is what gives me hope for our Church and our faith.

The local parish has been an experience of the Holy. Whether it is meeting with a man who had not darkened the doors of a church since he was a teenager but knew that upon the death of his mother there was only one place he could go, or the community gathering together to care for a sick neighbor, lightening the load of care for the family so they could be together in a holy time.  Agreeing to hold a funeral for  a member of the greater community who was not a member of a church so her family and friends could grieve.  Seeing children around the altar rail reaching out for the host during the Eucharist and saying the words of distribution along with me.  This is the Holy that happens in a local parish, and we should not be so quick to etch the date of death in the gravestone of "traditional" faith communities just yet.

More here-


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