Inviting your priest for dinner


#1

Growing up it seemed customary for my folks to invite our parish preist over for dinner on occassion. Do people still do this today? How do priests view this form of hospitality (even if they don’t know the family very well)? I would like to invite our priest over, but feel like he is SO busy (he’s the only priest at our very large parish) that I would only be adding to his list of appointments and commitments. ???


#2

[quote=DVIN CKS]Growing up it seemed customary for my folks to invite our parish preist over for dinner on occassion. Do people still do this today? How do priests view this form of hospitality (even if they don’t know the family very well)? I would like to invite our priest over, but feel like he is SO busy (he’s the only priest at our very large parish) that I would only be adding to his list of appointments and commitments. ???
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I’d would just ask him and find out. He may LOVE a home cooked meal.

I’ve asked a few priests over for dinner as a friendly gesture, “when you have time” sort of thing, and each one came!
It was very nice. And I think that it is a great thing for kids to get to know a priest outside of a Church setting.


#3

[quote=MaryD7]I’d would just ask him and find out. He may LOVE a home cooked meal.

I’ve asked a few priests over for dinner as a friendly gesture, “when you have time” sort of thing, and each one came!
It was very nice. And I think that it is a great thing for kids to get to know a priest outside of a Church setting.
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I was blessed growing up to have our parish priest become great friends with my parents, who as the community doctors worked reasonably closely with the Church in the provision of social services. He would regularly (two or three times a month) come over for one of our huge Saturday lunches.

Not only is it a good thing for children to get to know priests as human beings, for me it was also great to hear discussions on matters of faith and pastoral care between him and my parents - not that I normally felt knowledgeable enough to participate myself, but I listened and learned :slight_smile:


#4

Because they are busy, they sometimes decline for fear they many have to cancel. My advice is to just make it clear that no offense will be taken if he had to cancel even at the last minute for reason or just no reason at all.


#5

And don’t be surprised or upset when the priest does cancel. I suspect the percentage of dinner invitations our pastor manages to keep is less than 50%.


#6

[quote=DVIN CKS]Growing up it seemed customary for my folks to invite our parish preist over for dinner on occassion. Do people still do this today? How do priests view this form of hospitality (even if they don’t know the family very well)? I would like to invite our priest over, but feel like he is SO busy (he’s the only priest at our very large parish) that I would only be adding to his list of appointments and commitments. ???
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Me and my (girl freind with whom I am ambiguously committed) invited our priest over twice, and he came both times. Actually, I think he less-than-gracefully suggested it both times, but since we were wrestling with religious and relationship issues at the time, we were happy to oblige. (And we made dinner at her place because she lives alone and I live with four dudes).

I would definitely suggest that you invite him, but leave it open. Let him decide on the schedule, and impress on him that you’re more than happy to have him over–no obligations. That way, if he does normally feel pressured into such appointments, he’ll have an out. If he would like to spend time with a family, he can come at his liesure.

Don’t be too bothered if he never takes advantage of the offer. Priests have extremely difficult jobs and can be very complicated men. Sometimes, after weeks or months or years of daily crises, weddings and funerals, they just want to opt for silence and a good book. Or, they find any social interaction whatsoever burdensome. But more often than not, (I’m guessing here), they love the “off time” with a family or friends.


#7

[quote=Orionthehunter]Because they are busy, they sometimes decline for fear they many have to cancel. My advice is to just make it clear that no offense will be taken if he had to cancel even at the last minute for reason or just no reason at all.
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Just as we sat down to eat, our pastor’s cell phone rang - a hospital call. He didn’t have to rush out w/o eating, but he couldn’t stay as long as he may have otherwise. It was still nice to have him over. And I agree w/ whoever said it’s good for kids to see the men in black outside of Mass and church. —KCT


#8

When my mom was dying, her confessor would come over once a week. Occasionally, he would have dinner. I learned some do’s over the dinner table.

Do - let the kids say grace before dinner. The Father enjoys hearing the other people talk to God.

Do - discuss other topics than parish politics, Catholic theology, or worse who is not being faithful. Priests in general enjoy a family atmosphere. Discussions of what kids learned in school seem cool. Talk about what happened at work. Give some opinion on news events. Slip in some (good) family gossip. Pour wine.

Do - listen when Father talks. Sometimes he just wants to relate something someone else said. Or discuss some events from his past. Last I checked, priests are human and want to relax with their dinner companions.

Do - invite people of other faiths or no faith. Father will likely not to be shocked that friends are not all the same religion. As long as there is no direct attacks against Catholicism. Or assaults on another person’s religion or lack of. My mom’s confessor said he really enjoy my athestic buddy who graced our table. Wit and intelligent discussion seem welcome.


#9

MikeinSD…thanks for the great conversation tips!! :thumbsup:


#10

Our local priest, we discovered, was seriously neglected in that department. Hardly ever given a home-cooked meal, and tends to live on takeaway. I think people simply assumed he would be too busy. Now, he gets a few invites, and my wife drops around a few meals in tupperware for him to microwave. Never assume! Always ask.


#11

I agree that people should at least ask if their priest would like to enjoy some hospitality. Our current pastor is such a hoot that he is the life of any party, dinner or event. He is a good old country boy from a farm in Texas. He has lots of hilarious stories from growing up in a big farm family and from more than 35 years as a priest. He is so much more approachable than our last pastor who was more quiet and reserved until you got to know him.

Msgr. shows up to eat at most events at the parish like RCIA and other social dinners even if he cannot stay the whole time. The choir kept him out way too late one night telling stories and having a beer and some birthday cake at a local pub. It was just a spur of the moment invitation to celebrate a choir member’s birthday but he came. He is such a blessing to our community and I feel sad for the people who only see him at mass on Sunday and miss the other social interaction.


#12

Yes! Invite him!! It’s great for all of us to relate to these dedicated servants on a personal level.

Our last priest made it clear from the beginning that he wanted to be alone and would decline any invitations. Sad.

Our new priest jumps at the chance to get to know us better. I hope we can hang on to him for a while!

Kathy


#13

I always wondered about this, too. But as a single woman living alone, I never thought it would be appropriate for me to invite a priest for dinner. It would be different if I was part of a family.

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#14

[quote=CarolAnnSFO]I always wondered about this, too. But as a single woman living alone, I never thought it would be appropriate for me to invite a priest for dinner. It would be different if I was part of a family.
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Good judgement! You’re quite correct. Much as you can be certain that Father would behave himself, you could start the tongues wagging. And I’m sure both he and you could do without that!


#15

This is sort of a funny story - but true.

I kept wondering the priest at my parish never accepted an invitation to dinner at my house and then one day it occurred to me why rarely visits homes or accepts invitations. Father weighs well over 300 lbs and I got to thinking that there’s not even one chair in my home that could possibly accomodate him.


#16

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