August 28, 2007

Where in the World is Father What's-His-Name?

"Is there a priest around?"
"Who runs this joint?"

You may know parishes like this. Unfortunately, there are several in this Archdiocese. Yes, there is a priest's name on the masthead of the bulletin and maybe, even, on the sign outside. But, where is Father? Most of the services are Word and Communion run by laypeople or prayer services run by laypeople. Maybe one service per week is an actual Mass where Father is, seemingly, released from his chains in the basement for good behavior. But, you are never quite sure when that is going to be. Most of the information on the bulletin and/or website is written by Deacon Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named or the Head of Pastoral Misinformation Ms. Ministry Certificate.

What the bleep is going on? Why is this kind of bunk allowed? Are there priests being held prisoner in a Chinese laundry somewhere? I have no answers to these questions. I am genuingly confused. Help me achieve understanding, Gentle Reader.


Blogger swissmiss said...

I really dislike the parishes where the Sacrament of Confession is by appointment. What happened to being able to remain an anonymous, faceless voice on the other side of the screen? Is Father too busy to schedule a regular time for Confession or do so few people go, that when he does have Confession, he's all alone in the Confessional?

August 28, 2007 1:46 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

swissmiss: I hate that too. IMHO, Father should still sit in the Confessional even if no one shows up. He can pray, meditate or work on his next homily where he talks about the value of Confession.

August 28, 2007 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Jeron said...

Is it really that bad in Minnesota? As for scheduled Confessions, I have to schedule mine. I take too long. I'm in there for a good hour ... hour & 10 minutes. I have a good part-time spiritual advisor while my regular one is working on his ph.d. dissertation & is out-of-pocket. Anyway, I *did* go to our regularly scheduled Saturday Confession once. They only have it scheduled for 30 minutes prior to the Mass, and Father was 10 minutes late. What the heck?!

August 28, 2007 3:07 PM  
Blogger Vincenzo said...

"But, where is Father?"

August 28, 2007 5:16 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Vincenzo: I saw that you posted that over on Fr. Reichtsteig's blog caption contest. I don't know. I think it was funnier over on Father Z's blog. Still funny though.

August 28, 2007 6:17 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I consider regular, scheduled confession times to be an indicator of a solid parish. If a priest is there in the confessional, and preaches about the need for sacramental confession from time to time, people will show.

August 29, 2007 6:19 AM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Our priest is gone this week too. He's gone a lot.

August 29, 2007 3:26 PM  
Blogger the Mom said...

The good news is that the priests are coming! I know many good, solid Catholic families who have sent at least one son to the seminary, one family we know has 3 in seminary. It will take a while for them to get all the way through it, but they are on their way.

The hardest obstacle is getting past the diocesan director of vocations. 3 young men from our homeschool group have had to leave the state for other dioceses (that's not right, is it?) because they were "too orthodox" to be approved. The vocations exist, but are being held up, but be sure that they are getting through and headed to a parish near you.

God bless!

August 29, 2007 5:51 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

the Mom: You are right. Demographically more the new priests are orthodox-praise God. Sometimes, it's tough to wait. Patience is not one of my virtues.

August 29, 2007 6:58 PM  

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