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-   -   Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long? (http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=675115)

sheryleneg May 11, '12 7:52 pm

Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
Why can't they stay in 1 parish permanantly? Am I being naive?selfish?


How to do say good bye to a priest that's leaving the parish?

:crying:

Mike30 May 11, '12 8:05 pm

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
Maybe the Bishop needs him somewhere else. maybe the Priest requested a transfer and the Bishop obliged. Maybe the Bishop has a policy of transferring Priests. Who knows?

Shake his hand, give him a hug, wish him the best in his future, ask him for his blessing and say until we meet again.

It could be just as hard on him as it is on you.

po18guy May 11, '12 9:10 pm

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
In the Book of Acts, we see that Paul, Barnabas and others travelled about, frequently leaving their beloved brothers and sisters for the sake of building up the Body of Christ elsewhere. And so, Priests today are sent to different locations as well. It also avoids the cult of personality, which plagues many non-Catholic and non-Orthodox Churches. As much as we love them, and as sad as it is to see them go, it is good for them and for us to hear from a fresh voice every few years. As well, festering or chronic problems, as all parishes have, wear on the Priest.

robwar May 11, '12 9:16 pm

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
most diocese have some kind of limit and rotation of its priests. This prevent entrenchment and entitlement and keep both priests and parishes growing. I have seen where priests have changed and it went very well from one to another and I have seen where it went horribly.
At least where I am at, it is on a 6 year rotation with 6 more possible (12 year max). it is tough when you have a great priest and he has to go.

thequeen May 11, '12 9:31 pm

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by robwar (Post 9289423)
most diocese have some kind of limit and rotation of its priests. This prevent entrenchment and entitlement and keep both priests and parishes growing. I have seen where priests have changed and it went very well from one to another and I have seen where it went horribly.
At least where I am at, it is on a 6 year rotation with 6 more possible (12 year max). it is tough when you have a great priest and he has to go.


I know the bishop of our diocese recently put a 4 year limit on the time a priest could be at any one parish.

The Curt Jester May 11, '12 10:32 pm

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
Around here it's six years, then a possible six year extension, then possibly more years if you're a friend of the bishop. Or I should say it WAS that way. Could have changed with the new bishop.

barb finnegan May 12, '12 8:54 am

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
In my Upstate NY diocese, it's six years for an assistant pastor (or what they're called today, 'parochial vicar'), and twelve years for a pastor.

I think this 'term limits' stuff began in the late 1960s. The priest who baptized me and my two sisters was an assistant pastor in my childhood parish at the very beginning of his priesthood. He automatically became pastor when the previous one either retired or died. He was there until the early to mid-1970s, then got transferred.

I know I've had my share of 'bad timing' when good priests got transferred right after I met them and went to them on a regular basis for confession / spiritual direction. Seems that every time I got to know one and he me, then he would get his transfer papers!

First time that happened, I even sat down and wrote out a letter of protest to the bishop! Fortunately, I did not send it-would have been pretty embarrassing....not to mention making me look stupid...:blush: :o I wrote it as a way of venting my anger....well, I was a 'silly young girl' [to quote St. Jeanne de Chantal] back then! Pretty dumb, too....:shrug:

HelenRose May 12, '12 9:58 am

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The Curt Jester (Post 9289532)
Around here it's six years, then a possible six year extension, then possibly more years if you're a friend of the bishop. Or I should say it WAS that way. Could have changed with the new bishop.

Or as in the case of a very good priest in my parish. There were a number of tragedies in his life, one of which, his mother had died. Knowing that another change would be very difficult for him, his bishop extended his time here for another six years.

I doubt if being a "friend of a bishop" happens very often if at all. A good bishop knows his priests and makes decisions based on what is best for all concerned.

HelenRose May 12, '12 10:00 am

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sheryleneg (Post 9289161)
Why can't they stay in 1 parish permanantly? Am I being naive?selfish?


How to do say good bye to a priest that's leaving the parish?

:crying:

I know what you mean. I think part of the reasoning is we should not turn to personalities as reasons for our faith. This is how mega-churches are often formed and they fade when the chrismatic leader is gone. We should not base our faith on a single person but on Christ.

KimberlyAnn0218 May 12, '12 11:49 am

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
We are getting set to say goodbye to ours at the end of June. It is rather bittersweet--he gets to "go home" to his hometown adn live near his aging mother. The priest we are getting is "coming home" to our parish which was his home parish 40 years ago. Luckily, our current priest will only be 30-40 minutes away so every once and a while we can go hear a homily :)

PatriceA May 12, '12 12:22 pm

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
Because even the bess of priests can get burned out in the best of parishes, because not all parishes are the same size or have parish schools and priests need experience with various parishes, because sometimes for health reasons a priest may need a smaller parish with less demands, etc.,etc. Sometimes the parish may out grow the priest and his talents and capabilities, sometimes the priest outgrows the needs and wants of the parish.

I have experience growing up with a priest that was left at my childhood parish until I was well into adulthood. Although he formed personal friendships with many in his congregation, the parish also became stagnant. People grew to rest on the idea that things couldn't change because it was just the way they always did things, nobody challenged the priest. He became more of a dictator than a leader/shepherd because he was a bit of a control freak. He liked the power. Not to say he may have been effective at some point in his assignment at our parish, but if he had been reassigned much earlier, maybe he would have learned to control his need to micro manage every parish detail. Reassigning a priest is just as good for the priest to grow in his vocation as it is for every parish that benefits from a new assignment.

curlycool89 May 12, '12 8:11 pm

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
An old joke that I heard says "If he's a really good priest, then others should get a chance to have him. If he's a bad priest then nobody should have to have him for too long".

Quote:

Originally Posted by po18guy (Post 9289407)
In the Book of Acts, we see that Paul, Barnabas and others travelled about, frequently leaving their beloved brothers and sisters for the sake of building up the Body of Christ elsewhere. And so, Priests today are sent to different locations as well. It also avoids the cult of personality, which plagues many non-Catholic and non-Orthodox Churches. As much as we love them, and as sad as it is to see them go, it is good for them and for us to hear from a fresh voice every few years. As well, festering or chronic problems, as all parishes have, wear on the Priest.

That is actually one of the reasons why I personally think that a priest should be moved every once in a while. Otherwise the parishes begin to reflect the personality of the priests a little too much, and the reality is that over time it gets very hard to replace a priest like that. Priests get old and die too (or even retire). It can be hard for a new priest to come into that situation when the parish has become so attached to their priest and the way he does things.

robwar May 12, '12 8:41 pm

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PatriceA (Post 9290992)
Because even the bess of priests can get burned out in the best of parishes, because not all parishes are the same size or have parish schools and priests need experience with various parishes, because sometimes for health reasons a priest may need a smaller parish with less demands, etc.,etc. Sometimes the parish may out grow the priest and his talents and capabilities, sometimes the priest outgrows the needs and wants of the parish.

I have experience growing up with a priest that was left at my childhood parish until I was well into adulthood. Although he formed personal friendships with many in his congregation, the parish also became stagnant. People grew to rest on the idea that things couldn't change because it was just the way they always did things, nobody challenged the priest. He became more of a dictator than a leader/shepherd because he was a bit of a control freak. He liked the power. Not to say he may have been effective at some point in his assignment at our parish, but if he had been reassigned much earlier, maybe he would have learned to control his need to micro manage every parish detail. Reassigning a priest is just as good for the priest to grow in his vocation as it is for every parish that benefits from a new assignment.

you said it well, that is exactly happen in our previous parish where the priest was there 12 years and everything and everyone became entrenched and enmeshed and when he was reassigned it did not go well.

poor sinner May 13, '12 12:29 pm

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
Prior the 1960's it was normal for a Priest to stay in one parish his entire life (after having finnished as a curate) and it is still the normal law of the Church, the current situation is is a result of the US Bishops petitioning (and recieving) the Vatican for an indult.

Mrs Sally May 13, '12 1:54 pm

Re: Why do good priests have to leave a parish after being there for so long?
 
Our parochical vicars normally are only in one parish for 3 years during their early assignments. As others have said, moving a priest around helps them learn different aspects of their ministry. Usually the pastor is in one parish much longer 10-12 years or longer.

We are blessed in this diocese to have quite a few vocations, so most parishes have at least 2 priests. With the pastor staying but the associate moving it gives a parish both stability and freshness.


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