Are you "close" to your Priest/Pastor...


#1

Are you “close” to your Priest/Pastor/Preacher/Minister?

Has he ever visited you outside of the church setting?

Do you and / or your family ever “socialize” with him?

Do you feel that you can go to him for anything or any concerns in your life on a one-on-one basis?

I will post my reasons for asking…

Thanks in advance to all who reply.


#2

My reasons…

I was raised Southern Baptist, it was customary for our “preacher” to visit us at home. Even sometimes coming over for dinner or supper.

When later in life, my husband and I decided to visit a church (PCUSA) the pastor was immediately friendly. Invited us to lunch after services…just to get to know us. Evently, we became members, but not before meeting with him a few times. Later, the birth of our first son, my pastor was at the hospital and brought gifts from the members to our home. Later, for the Baptism of my son, my pastor visited us at home on two occasions…once alone and once with the Godmother. He attended our “after Baptism” party. The death of both of my Grandparents, he was there at the funerals and everything. We became very close to his family. Exchanging babysitting…getting together for grilling and a few beers. The man actually taught me alot about my “spirtuality” and religion. Now, he and his family have moved to a different state, we do not see them very often, but do keep in touch. Alot went on in the church and we no longer attend. He recommended that my family visit the Episcopal church in town because he was good friends with the Priest and knew alot of people in the church. So we did…

Now, we are members of the Episcopal church. We love the church and the people, however I have experienced some “new” things there. We have never met with our Priest out side of church doors. Our “membership” became a conversation in passing. I did go through Confirmation. The birth of our second son…no visit at the hospital. Baptism of second son…absolutely no conversation…just such and such date, sit at the front of the church with your family, we can do pictures after the service. That was about it. To this day, he has never even suggested that we “meet” for anything. He has never visited my home, etc. I just find it a little odd. The size of our church is not large, about 100 members attend. I have sensed a “distance” from him from day one and not only to me but to everyone.

So, since I do not know many Catholics…I am wondering if my experience with my Priest at the Episcopal church is the “norm” for the Episcopal church and possibly the Catholic church. Are Priests just usually “distant” in the Protestant sense?


#3

NOPE.

Our priest is a wonderful pastor, a great confessor and preaches the BEST homilies :thumbsup: ,but he is not easy to get close to. He keeps a distance between himself and most all the parishiners. :frowning: (except a select few)

Unless its for Confession,I always go to our Deacon. He is TOPS :thumbsup: It is easy to get close to him. The whole parish just loves our Deacon :thumbsup:


#4

We’ve had our priest over for dinner, and he knows us. I can call when I need to, and is more than happy to discuss what we need to. As people enter the church for Mass, he’s there greeting everyone, many by name. But on the flip side, our parish is growing, and he’s very busy. Lately it seems we’ve had a rash of funerals, he does hospital visits, visits to the homebound, daily mass, daily confession. He cannot come to every social function he is invited to because he is invited to so many and stretched pretty thin.
However we also have 2 retired Msgrs and a few Deacons whom we can also call on when we need too, and I think they are eager get to know the parishoners as well.


#5

…very close… don’t know what i will do when he moves on… he’s a very special guy…


#6

We have several priests as friends and see them socially. Although not as often as we should. Sometimes they just don’t get asked.

Our pastor is stretched very thin too, so he may seem distant to someone trying to get to know him when he pulls out the palm pilot and can’t pencil you in.

But, he has addressed the “keeping a distance” idea that someone posted above. He has said that the abuse scandal has made it very difficult for them. Every move they make is often held suspect. Being outgoing and insinuating themselves into peoples lives can be very awkward.

My pastor comes from a huge family and is very comfortable around kids. What a shame that his desire to hold the baby or play Monopoly might be seen as predatory. The retired priest that is our friend also loves to be around family gatherings. He too, just needs an invitation.

I think if you want to get to know your pastor, then make the move. Do you expect friendship? I think that may or may not happen, but you should get a positive response to a request for a pastoral relationship.

I don’t think that Episcopal priests will try to “sell you” on their church any more than a Catholic priest would. It’s not a common tactic for catholics I know. So don’t take it as being dissed and un-welcomed. I’m sure they’d love to get to know you.

God Bless, Paula


#7

Yes, I have made attempts. Once instance, to just meet with him at his office before the Baptism of my second son. I just felt like we needed to “talk” since I am a “new” Episcopalian. I really think that he also “keeps the distance” due to just how some people within the church can become…that’s what my other pastor friend told me when I discussed it with him. But when it comes to “things” within the church, like Baptism, I would really think that he (my current priest) would have been more “social”, like actually talking to me! I wanted and asked to talk to him and he brushed me off. But I also must add to my story…our Priest just resigned this past week…maybe he was “keeping the distance” because he knew that he would be going away soon, but in my eyes, he still should have made effort to “talk” with me and my husband at sometime, especially before the Baptism.

Anyway, what worries me is will my next Priest be very “distant”? I’m not comfortable with that…you never know when you might need him during a time of crisis and wouldn’t you like to just “know” him a little before something were to or if something were to happen in your life. I’m just going to pray for our church in their search for a new Priest.


#8

My experience is that it depends on the priest. Some are more available than others. But, I’ve never known one to turn down a free meal! http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon10.gif

Subrosa


#9

I am “close” to my Pastor and in some ways i wish i were not. We are good friends and as such I find it hard to turn to him as my spiritual advisor and impossble for me to go to confession with him.


#10

A lot of it also depends on the size of the parish. I belong to arguably the largest parish in the United States with more than 2000 *families * registered and many more unregistered and winter visitors. If my pastor could make time for everyone, he’d need to be able to bi-locate several times over.


#11

[quote=estesbob]I am “close” to my Pastor and in some ways i wish i were not. We are good friends and as such I find it hard to turn to him as my spiritual advisor and impossble for me to go to confession with him.
[/quote]

Okay, this is what I was thinking. As an Episcopalian, we do have Confession, but just certain times of the year, otherwise, I guess that you could make a personal appointment with the Priest. However, this thought has crossed my mind…could I “confess” to someone that I knew well? Could I go to him as a spiritual advisor…which by the way…I would really like to find and do not know how to go about doing that. Now, this is the reason that I feel most Priests/Pastors kinda “keep the distance” and that makes sense to me at least “socially”, but don’t keep a distance from me when it comes to explaining and concerning the sacraments, He really shouldn’t!


#12

It sounds like your pastor was in the midst of personal problems. It’s a shame that he was unable to meet your needs, but I’m sure he didn’t desire to be off-putting. It is hurtful when we feel ignored or rebuffed by the person we look up to for guidance. I would probably have a little twinge of hurt feelings too.

Hopefully, your next pastor will be someone you can have more of a relationship with. I will tell you that many people find my pastor rude and arrogant. He can have an air of intellectual pride. Sometimes I think being expected to have all the answers to everything makes him a little defensive. I don’t think he is a naturally social and charming like some. When I got over being thin skinned and kind of fired snippy comments back at him I think he was relieved. I didn’t expect some profound wisdom to come out of his mouth every time he opened it. I just wanted to talk to him as a friend sometimes-with no particular expectations.

Unlike your situation though when approached “as pastor” the roles changed and he put on his priest hat. If I had ever felt put off about pastoral matters it would have troubled me too.

It’s kind of like being friends with your boss. It can be complicated to mix the two. The priest may worry that they are personally being rejected if you should disagree with their leadership. Hopefully, you will find a good spiritual director-I’m sure if you ask around someone could steer you. Don’t give up on searching for answers, and I wouldn’t advise basing friendship with the pastor as the reason you have chosen this church. I think leaving or shopping because you don’t care for the pastor is a bad motive and puts unfair expectations on them to be everything to everyone.

Hang in there. Paula

[quote=DJgang]Yes, I have made attempts. Once instance, to just meet with him at his office before the Baptism of my second son. I just felt like we needed to “talk” since I am a “new” Episcopalian. I really think that he also “keeps the distance” due to just how some people within the church can become…that’s what my other pastor friend told me when I discussed it with him. But when it comes to “things” within the church, like Baptism, I would really think that he (my current priest) would have been more “social”, like actually talking to me! I wanted and asked to talk to him and he brushed me off. But I also must add to my story…our Priest just resigned this past week…maybe he was “keeping the distance” because he knew that he would be going away soon, but in my eyes, he still should have made effort to “talk” with me and my husband at sometime, especially before the Baptism.

Anyway, what worries me is will my next Priest be very “distant”? I’m not comfortable with that…you never know when you might need him during a time of crisis and wouldn’t you like to just “know” him a little before something were to or if something were to happen in your life. I’m just going to pray for our church in their search for a new Priest.
[/quote]


#13

I have a horrible little story. I was baptised and raised as a Methodist and we continued to go to Church over the years as I grew up. At one point in my life my parents went thru a divorce. The wife was unfaithful and my Dad was having a difficult time. One day he called up the minister/pastor and said he really needed help and asked if he could speak with him, to which the minister/pastor replied “I’m sorry but I’m in my pajamas for the night”.

I don’t understand how someone could be so cruel.


#14

Our parish has over 1000 families. So visiting each home is difficult. We have invited hime for dinner but it is hard to get a date. He is busy working Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday evenings. So there are 2 days a week we can ask him to dinner. He is also busy all day Saturday and Sunday.

He has said that he has given up his desire to learn to cook and relies on the meals we provide or restaurants. So he readily accepts invitation. But it is up to us to invite.


#15

Yes. And this is nice. :slight_smile: But, not essential. I have learned that what is important to me is to know my faith and practise it. I have experienced some interesting men through the years as pastors.

On vacation one time where we attended Mass, the priest had been assigned to another parish and the congregation was very unhappy he was leaving. He told the people to never let any man (meaning the priest) stand in your way of practising your faith. Don’t let one person cause you to lose your soul.

I am thankful we have priests so that we can attend Mass and receive the sacraments. Deo Gratis.


#16

My priest is great. He’s very friendly, has a great sense of humor, calls people by name when giving them Holy Communion, and is just a genuine joy to be around. We’ve had him over for dinner a couple of times. I wouldn’t say that we’re “close”, but I probably know him better than many of the other parishoners.

Scout :tiphat:


#17

I am very close to my priest. Sometimes I feel I’m closer to him then I am to my parents. I can talk to him a lot easier then my parents, but then again, he already knows almost everything about me, he’s my confessor.


#18

Our area, the gulf coast, is actually a mission area for Ireland! We have Irish priests EVERYWHERE!!! Oh, and nuns, too!

Our pastor is phenomenal! He is very personable, very social and very accessible but he is very busy. We have almost 2000 families in our parish and when I tell you he’s busy - the man never stops but somehow, he finds time for most! Like one other poster said, he’d have to able to bi-locate several times over to take care of everything! Believe me, he tries.

I’ve felt very comfortable talking to him about any number of things! He’s been to my house for dinner - and I have a protestant husband with twin sons (our son is Catholic, like me!) and Father loves them all and my husband loves him! In fact, he officiated at my stepson’s wedding just a year ago (to a nice Catholic girl!). It seems that everyone on the coast likes to come to our parish and of course, we have many tourists who come back year after year because of our pastor! I even think the Bishop has a special affenity for our parish. Our pastor has turned this into a welcoming, active, faith loving, involved parish. I even have a picture of him on my desk at work! You should see him get around the area on his bike!

Before every Mass that he is presiding over, he goes out in the church and greets, shakes hands, kisses and hugs just about everyone. The kids love him, from tiny tots all the way to college kids. He picks up the little ones and kisses them! No one here is afraid of the “scandal” thank goodness!

Our pastor has been here 12 years and it’s time that he move on. We will be losing him around January of next year and we are all so sad! BUT…we are a parish that loves our faith and we really don’t see people leaving because Father is leaving - believe it or not! We have vowed that we will survive whether he is here or not. Even he says - Don’t follow me - follow Christ! We will stick together as a parish!

He’ll still be in the area - it’s not like he’s going to another planet! We can go see him if we need a fix!


#19

I am very close to many priest. One use to be of my parish and another is a teacher in Rome. They are so cool because they are great guys, but they also teach me the faith and kinda test me every time I talk to them. It keeps me on my toes. You got to be really quick or they will answer their question before you do. They are also 100% with the Church and defend the Church teachings vibrantly. They are some of the coolest men I know today. One of them even meet and got a book autographed by Cardinal Ratizinger(sp) before he was Pope. So they know who is good and who is not. I love our priest!


#20

Well, our parish priest is very active int he community and seeing as we’re fairly new to the parish and he’s being transferred (after 12 years!) in June, we haven’t gotten too close, but, he did do our convalidation ceremony and helped us out with all that.

Our associate pastor seems to be a great guy. I usually go to confession with him now because I like his good advice and quiet understanding. That’s behind a screen though, so I don’t think he really knows who I am just yet…I would love for us to have a friendly relationship with him, but I wouldn’t really know how to go about that. smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/23/23_28_113.gifWould be nice though. My Dad used to tell me that in his Irish Catholic neighborhood in PA when he was growing up, the priest was over for dinner at a different parishoner’s house like every night. That sort of old fashioned close knit parish thing seems like it woulda been nice. My parish now is huge.


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