Sunday, February 14, 2010

Some events in the life of a priest...

Some recent commenters have suggested I must not be busy about parish business because I've offered teaching and comments on the true nature of marriage here in recent days.

Well, anything is possible, and a parish priest's work is never done; but here are some things I've been busy about lately, for those who enjoy an insight into the life of a parish priest...

> With others' help, I've been conducting job interviews for a position for one of the parishes. We're not finished; but soon I'll have a decision to make about hiring someone.

> I've been able to help--at a critical time--the same family as it experienced the death someone special. Two deaths in a matter of weeks. Twice recently I've been at the bedside, at the hospital, offering the final sacraments and prayers of commendation in Espanol. I am very sorry to have butchered the pronunciation, but it was the best I could do.

We had a funeral Mass last week, offered by a visiting priest, who is fluent in Spanish; and I just got off the phone, having made arrangements for a funeral service later this week for the second person in that family who died.

As it happens, I was called to the man's bedside around 1 am this morning--I had gotten back from a holy hour a little after midnight, and was about to head to bed when the call came. When the nurse rushed us to his bedside, she said, "hurry, hurry"; I was momentarily thrown off--I was going to do the prayers all in Spanish, but I couldn't find them quickly in the book, so I just said the words of absolution, the apostolic blessing and the prayer of anointing in English, and we prayed the final litany in Spanish. He breathed his last a few moments later.

> I also got called to the cemetery for a graveside service on Saturday morning, before some of the job interviews I mentioned. But for the family's privacy I'll say no more. As you might imagine, I have lots of conversations and encounters with parishioners that I never say a word about here, because its private.

> After Mass last night, the parochial vicar and I went out to dinner at a local eatery; as often happens, I saw many of our parishioners, some couples and families out for St. Valentine's Day.

> I have a parishioner to visit at the hospital this afternoon, I'll head there shortly. I came back home to have a bite to eat, post my homily, and then had the phone message about the funeral service (which I expected), and some calls to make.

> This evening, we'll have an "XLT" with the High School group. "XLT" is high-school-speak for "exalt"; we'll have time of praise and worship of the Lord before the Most Blessed Sacrament on the altar of St. Mary. Which meant that I had to remember to consecrate a host for exposition. I was going to do it at 5 pm Mass last night; I forgot, so I left a note for the vicar to do it at 9 am Mass, which he did. I've been thinking a bit about the talk I'll give as part of that.

> Amidst all that, we had a bulletin insert to prepare--for this weekend--that describes the many opportunities for prayer and confessions during Lent, as well as other opportunities such as my weekly Bible study (Wednesday at 7 pm at St. Boniface), which will be on the Gospel of John, starting this week; also we have Gospel reflection groups in folks' homes during the week, and so forth. We got a late change of another parish's penance service, so we had to throw out the copies we'd made and fix them.

> Oh, there were certainly many other things I could describe, but you get the idea.

Off to the hospital in a bit.


Anonymous said...

Father, thanks for taking care of so much with the church in Piqua, Ohio. We appreciate your wisdom and dedication you have towards the church and it teachings.

I am amazed by those that think you do so little or seem to think your time is spent unwisely. I doubt they would work their jobs 365 days a year every waken hour, and even interrupted during those that aren't a waken hour.

Keep up the great leadership and advise for those "shady" current events as they occur.

God bless you, Anna

Anonymous said...

Fr Fox:

thank you for being a priest in our Catholic Church - you realize there are people in our archdiocese praying for you and all priests every day

thank you especially for your love our Church and Holy Mother - your devotion to the Blessed Sacrament

Jackie said...


Don't listen to them. I very much enjoy your posts - homilies and other topics. It is HUGELY important that priests talk about and discuss topics like marriage because they so impact the culture and our lives.

Keep up the good fight! Know that you are prayed for!

Carmela James said...


While I haven't had anything of significance to post, I have recently started following your blog and have very much appreciated your past few posts (and all those patient comments therein!) about homosexual marriage. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

Kathy said...

I'm surprised anyone could say you weren't busy when you have not one, but two parishes to look after.

Sounds like these people who griped have more of an issue with wanting gay "marriage" then they do about what it is you do all day.

I admire you Fr. Fox. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

There are always going to be people who enjoy spending their time being critical of others. They get addicted to doing this and seem to get some kind of emotional pay-off from it - how sad.

Just ignore them.


Margaret said...

Father, I just wanted to throw in a word of thanks for your generous ministry, particularly hospital calls. I had a nasty heart attack scare last year, which thankfully turned out to only be a scare. But during the awful period of waiting for the initial blood test results to go back, I was a wreck. And despite having just made a good confession on retreat about ten days prior, I was never more grateful in my life when the chaplain walked through the curtains to shrive and anoint me.

What a fantastic, Christ-like work you priests are able to do! I'm sure you must already appreciate the enormous privilege you have, but I just wanted to remind you again of how unspeakably thankful the flock is (or ought to be) for the generous ministry of faithful priests like yourself.