Saturday, March 29, 2008

IBNTYP&PM Week nears end...

In addition to the Octave of Easter, this is (unofficially) 'International Be Nice to your Pastor and Parish Musician Week'--or at least, so it is within the boundaries of my two parishes.

As readers of my blog know, it's not just Holy Week that is tiring, it's the capstone of many weeks of heavy activity, much of which is not related to the liturgical season; by the same token, the busy-ness doesn't really slow down much after Easter, it continues until school lets out. That's because we have nicer weather, so events that might otherwise have been spread out through January and February are bunched up here; the school year is wrapping up, hurry hurry to finish!; we have confirmations and first communions, and all that goes with them; plus matters of parish business, such as festivals to gear up for.

And let me repeat; I think it's worse on the parish staff, especially the musicians; at least, in my case, because I had other priests to help with priestly duties, but our music director carries more of his duties on his back--plus a family to care for.

Anyway, this was a good week for me; Monday was a fine day of rest after Easter, and I have enjoyed praying in the Easter "mode" this week, whether at Mass or the hours; getting back to the office on Tuesday, I was more productive than I thought, and had more energy than I expected, although I've been sleepier in the evenings than usual. "The Pile" is significantly smaller; many projects seem to be progressing.

I had a wonderful experience on Thursday. Lehman Catholic High School had a "job shadowing day" for one of its classes, and one of the young men contacted me about shadowing me! So he met me for 8 am Mass, and he stuck by me all day, including breakfast at my desk, several hours in my office as I answered phone calls, met with staff and dealt with various matters, which I explained to him as I went along.

Then we dashed over to the school and visited a couple of classrooms, then back for a staff meeting, then to the hospital to visit the sick; we finished around 5:30 and we stopped to eat at the hospital cafeteria, so he could ask me questions, especially about the hospital visits (in case you are wondering, each patient was asked, before the young man came in, if they were okay with it; if anyone had shown the slightest hesitation, I would have had him wait outside, but no one did). He was going to join me for the pastoral council meeting at 7, but he had homework, and I didn't think that was necessary.

Along the way, I described some of the other things that he hadn't experienced, and tried to show how some of the more tedious and less exciting parts have meaning to the whole.

Well, now it's approaching 3 pm, I have Mass shortly, then two baptisms, then the boy scouts' spagetti dinner, then home. And I feel great!


James Straight said...

That's great, Father.

I think that most people (or at least the ones who care) realize that orthodoxy breeds vocations.

But, orthopraxy does as well. I think that you are doing more for vocations by just being the priest that you are than some I have met whose sole job is encouraging vocations.

(That's not a shot at vocations directors in general. I know there are some fine ones out there as well.)

God bless,

Rachel said...

That's cool about the young man who wanted to shadow you. Heck, I'd be interested in shadowing a priest if I had an excuse to do so. Right into the confessional-- okay, maybe not. :)

I once shadowed a priest for about five minutes, only because I was going to go to the office with him but it took us five minutes to get there due to all the interruptions. And I was an interruption myself!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the local contemplative monastic order thanks you for the referral!


Anonymous said...

My stars, Miss Annie is worn out just reading about all that tearing around you have done!
Take your vitamins and wear sturdy supportive shoes if you are going to act like this often!

Father Schnippel said...


Why haven't you sent this name to me, yet?


Anonymous said...

In regards to "Be Nice to Your Pastor...." , may the Peace of God, all His Blessings and Goodness, Compassion and Mercy, Love and Peace, Grace and Honor be poured out on you, Fr. Fox and all pastors and priests everywhere!

Fr Martin Fox said...

Father Schnippel:


* (Translation: I'll get right on that!)