Today my phone rang and I answered it even though I didn’t recognize the answer. The conversation went like this:
Caller: A good 15-20 seconds of silence (I almost hung up) followed by “Solomonson” !?!
Caller: Another good 15-20 seconds of silence (I almost hung up once more) followed by this is the “liturgy coordinator!” (an extremely difficult person.) “Hold on.” I held on for a good half minute.
Solomonson: Finally (I was still waiting) I said “How did you get this number?” No answer. Finally I said “good day” and I hung the phone up. Weird, weird call.
Later I got a call from a friend at the parish. They said the call was placed during a “liturgical meeting” for Easter. The “coordinator” had done it on speaker so everyone could hear. The coordinator was “outraged” at my response and was going to my pastor about it.
My friend was calling to see if the parish could borrow some antique habiliments from my private collection? Apparently that’s what the first call was about. Does this sort of nutty stuff happen in your parish? Parish churches should treat people well. This is just oddness.
“In days of yore”, the only liturgy coordinator was the priest.
Is he supposed to publicly chastise you, or what?
Did this “liturgy coordinator” do some so called “liturgy course” which makes some people believe they’re experts who can look down on the peasants? It might pay you to “say something” to this person. Extremely difficult (your words) individuals sometimes need to be told off to their faces, for their own good and for that of their intended victims!
Sounds like the type that loves giving orders. True?
I used to be a liturgy coordinator. It was a job that meant freeing up the Pastor from duties such as scheduling EMHCs, readers, gift bearers, and such; in cooperation with the Pastor, making sure everyone was on the same page when it came to what was to be done during the Triduum or other special celebrations and making sure that all supplies were available; arranging for the training of various ministers and sometimes doing the training, as I had been trained before, etc. I never would have gone to the Pastor with an incident such as described above. Not to mention that the Pastor would have been present at any meeting we were having so he’d have had first hand knowledge of the incident.
Sometimes the person who fills that role has a difficult personality. I don’t think I did, others may disagree, but I see that the person doing it now definitely does. She has reduced me to tears on occasion. Yet, she was the only person to step up to the plate when I resigned my ministry, and she assumed many of my duties when I later resigned as parish secretary. She does, for free, many of the things I was paid to do and without her the parish would have fallen apart, given that we were without a priest to do those things for several months. For all her abrasiveness, everyone is quick to say, “But she works like a dog and she’s the one who has kept the parish going.” Not to mention that she single-handedly ran a successful fund raising campaign to build and equip a school in Guatemala after she’d seen the desperate need while visiting a priest friend who ministers there.
She is dedicated to the parish but resents the fact that she is now expected (that’s no exaggeration) to do as a volunteer what had been a paid position for 11 years. When I left, my salary was cut from the budget and never reinstated.
Among other issues here, no one should be put on speaker in a group meeting without an explicit statement, up front, to that effect and asking if that is OK. It almost sounds as if you were being set up / entrapped. Sadly, with parish volunteers so difficult to get, it takes far more than something like this for a volunteer to lose their position.
To give a benefit of the doubt, perhaps there was a technology glitch with their phone- the speakerphone setting was acting oddly? Or if either phone was a cell phone, the signal was low or lost. Both instances could cause periods of silence.
When we need to have someone on speaker phone for a meeting it’s arranged in advance. They know the time they will be required to be available and are waiting when we call them. We’d never make a cold call to involve someone in a meeting.
If the liturgy coordinator wanted to include you in this call they should have contacted you before the meeting to make sure you were okay and ready for such a call. Also, right up front they should have told you that you were on speaker phone.
From what you’ve described this could have been a robo-call and your hanging up was appropriate. You did well to say “good day” before ending the call - I may not have been so gracious.
Sounds like you had a bad connection. It also sounds like the liturgy coordinator is a bit ballsy. If they have the nerve to come to you about this, I would tell him or her that you couldn’t hear anything they were saying, you didn’t recognize their number, and remind them that when you call someone and put them on speaker phone, it’s general decency to ask them first.