Saturday, March 03, 2012

What does a pastor do? Some of everything!

Well, it's been crazy, and it will get crazier.

The last two weeks, I've been working on a lot of things (beyond the usual):

> Helping put together a retreat for our students preparing for confirmation.

We have a vacancy in our religious education/youth ministry program, so that makes me the DRE. Anything involving kids means lots of record-keeping, making sure every permission slip is turned in, and then there are checks from families, and volunteers and chaperones to line up.

We have a group of four seminarians leading the retreat, but a mother kindly reminded me that some of the 8th grade girls might, if they have any problems, prefer to talk to a mother, not a seminarian. Point taken! So I made sure we have a mother and female teacher there overnight.

Also, I went out to get the snacks the kids and leaders will consume. I have no idea how much to buy, but I didn't want to run out. It doesn't help to have 50 grumpy 8th graders. I was also advised to avoid anything with red dye in it and peanuts. Good advice!

So what did I get?

In addition to hotdogs and buns and ingredients for 'smores--for the campfire--I purchased:

- Oreos and Nilla wafers (generic where possible; except generic Oreos had peanuts so no-go)
- Pretzels and cheese crackers
- Lemonade--no red dye!--to make up in 5-gallon coolers. No pop!
- No candy or chocolate; I thought it would be unfair for those who may have given them up for Lent and, after all, it is Lent!

I warned them I'd get pickled herring and Limberger cheese, but I relented.

> I have a penance service to organize for my two parishes, plus a neighboring parish that joins in. I have six of the eight priests needed. More calls to make.

> I just made a call to one of the families, whose son won't make the retreat because he's ill.

> I have a dinner I organize for priests for Holy Thursday--just got the invitations out and I have some other work to do for that.

> There is a stack of things on my desk, and several emails, that need attention. I've been apologizing to folks this week for being late in returning calls and not giving their items the attention they deserve. Next week, God willing.

> I'm a member of Kiwanis and they had their annual pancake breakfast today. I was there two hours, then I had to hit Wal Mart for the snacks and then here to write my homily. Just finished it before writing this post.

> The 8th graders will be checking in at 3 pm today before Mass, then heading up for the retreat. I'll be heading up there around 7:30, to lead exposition and to hear confessions, along with another priest.

I have that unsettling feeling I'm forgetting something. Pray for me!


Kathy said...

Father, you are awesome. But I do find it ridiculous that you're having to do *everything* including buying the snacks. Can't these parents step up? Or is this just something you wanted to do?

Fr Martin Fox said...


Actually, a parent did offer to do it, but I didn't mind doing it.

Fr Martin Fox said...


Thanks by the way. And please realize, I'm describing what is typical for parish priests.