March 08, 2010

Parish Speak: Where Someone Means YOU!

Disclaimer: No parishioners were killed or harmed in the composition of this post. No bunnies were sacrificed. Remember I love everyone and am happy to be here!

If you are heavily involved in what is usually termed: "Parish Life", you can relate to this post. If not, your key take away from this post will be: don’t sign up for anything!

Well, I shouldn’t say the latter because a big problem in parish life is that few people sign up for anything. If you are involved you probably work with the same few people on everything because it’s usually the few, the proud, the available, who are on speed dial by every coordinator of every event in the parish.

There are always some that can be relied upon to help. God bless them

The parishes would be dead without these people.

Yes,it’s all about the Lord but we all know the parish is not only about Mass. Some may quibble with me on the latter but that’s the reality we live in. That said: even the execution (not the Lord) of the Mass can end up being a dramatic production.

The Mass should be the Mass and that should be Father’s area of responsibility. That’s my opinion but we all know the reality: the “coordinators” the liturgists, the musicians, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Don’t get me started on the environment people. Oh, the banners don’t drape correctly (don’t laugh, I think people have been murdered over drapery)!

It would be great if Father could just show up to celebrate Mass and the only thing he has to worry about is the color of his vestment for the day but we all know that isn’t true.

Father has to deal with: budget, staff, boilers, roofs, grounds in addition to administering the Sacraments.

People want more out of their parish than the Mass. I know. Well, people act like they do anyway. They want a safe place for the kids to hang out at. They want a school. They want an event center.

Parishioners want and they have ideas. But, this is the rant. Everybody has an idea of how it should be done and what should be done but when you hear this beginning to sentence “Someone should…...” translate and replace the word 'someone' for 'YOU' or assume the speaker never means “I”

Woe to all if the idea is not implemented the way the idea man thinks it should be. Then, you end up explaining at length why the alternate tack was taken or, tougher, it wasn’t done at all.

I say this about politics and I’ll say it here: If you are going to gripe but are not involved and do not want to do more than just bring forth your ideas and gripes for someone else to worry about and work on, shut up!



Blogger Tom in Vegas said...

"If you are involved you probably work with the same few people on everything..."

This is true. But I kinda like that. Eventually, you have formed in these moments of volunteerism a more intimate and compact parish family.

You know, I have seen drama at my parish in the past, just nothing that borders on scandalous. To my knowledge, there haven't been any moments of liturgical abuse, or of clergy that ignored their vocations and went off to live as they wanted. I have seen priests who weren't very compassionate and extremely impatient with other people. Staff who spoke ill of each other and lost their tempers with one another. Aside from those incidents, my parish is pretty calm.

And yes, those same faces you saw the last time you volunteered are the one who are (thankfully) going to show up next time father needs something.

March 08, 2010 5:19 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Good rant, Cathy. This is why I don't get involved anymore either. Although I probably should.

Or at least someone should...


March 08, 2010 5:21 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

I wish Tom would quit telling us how he finds women to date!


LarryD: Exactly my point. Terry should do it. He LOVES church people!

March 08, 2010 8:18 PM  
Blogger nazareth priest said...

Well, this sound exactly like our community (laity, priests, religious)...we religious are of "one mind", most of the time, we work it out...but we have all these tensions in our association...and if there were more in our monastery, I'm sure we would have some "precious moments":<)!
That being said...until we get to the "Wedding Banquet in the Kingdom", we'll be be plodding along, arguing, ticked off, whatever...that's where virtue and holiness come into play.
And it's not easy.
Not at all!

March 09, 2010 3:33 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

My Mom taught me one of the most important lessons of life: Whenever anybody asks you to help out with something at Church, or anywhere, always excitedly agree to help and show up early. And then make an absolute mess of the job. They'll never ask you again, and the word will spread throughout your community.

You'll have plenty of time to read the paper and pursue many hobbies or just laze around in your hammock.

Mom was asked once to help paint something when she was a teenager. She was never asked again and I never saw her pick up a paint brush at our home, either.

March 09, 2010 8:27 PM  

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