My Parish Priest ignores me

I don’t know what I have done but my parish priest ignores me. Whenever he sees me he turns away. One day I was waiting to talk to him after mass, He was talking to a woman and we were the only two left in the church. As she finished talking she turned to leave but he opened a new topic and continued to talk to her. This happened three times when I realised that he did not want to talk to me. So I left.

It is getting to the point where I am thinking of going to another parish. Surprisingly, the Asst priest is very friendly with me and often accepts my invitation to a meal at my home. It is coming to the point where I am wondering if I should speak to him about it.

Any advice or comments.

Are you male or female? Have you had bad history with this priest?

should it really matter whether the person is male or female , the parish priest is there to talk and help anyone who needs him, he doesn’t get to pick and choose, if he wants to do that he needs to get another job

Miscommunication can happen. It happens to us all, in Church and out, and it can be difficult and hurtful if you suspect that someone is thinking bad things about you.

Why not try praying for your priest, and ask God to keep your mind on Him alone, when in Church.

  • a situation such as this is remedied by putting yourself firmly into God’s medicinal hands:)
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Yeah, that’s wrong

  1. It could matter if the priest is struggling with certain temptations and is trying to avoid a near occasion of sin. However the prudent thing to do might be to suggest to her that she needs to speak with someone else, without getting too specific. In other words, there may be something going on here that we aren’t aware of, and don’t have a right to know about.

  2. Priest are people too and the bishops try to do their best to put the right people in the right “jobs”, but they are limited by the shortage of priests and by sometimes not having people who are a “perfect fit” for a positon. Moreover, its not a “job”. Its a vocation.

It would be hard to judge this because your previous interaction with him is unknown. Did he turn away from you because he thought the conversation after Mass would go too long? I don’t know. I guess I would focus on the friendlier priest to you and not worry about trying to talk with this one since it hasn’t worked out. I sound more like miscommunication and perception. Unless you make an appointment to talk about with him, I would move on. Sometimes trying to talk to a priest after Mass is a bad idea in general. Unless it is a short social chit chat hello, I would avoid trying to speak to any priest after Mass. They have places to go to as well.

That’s a pretty unfair assessment for what few details are presented. My parish has 5000 families, and to assume the pastor and other priests are not being as helpful and available as they should be because of how busy their schedule is is ludicrous.

It does matter if they are alone when approached. It does matter. There are regulations in place in many Diocese. Everyone, laity and priests, are advised not to be alone with someone if at all possible, to be in a room with a clear window, or an open door, etc.
Times have changed. And it has nothing to do with whether a priest is helpful or friendly.

I agree, at least with the basic sentiment.

Speaking from experience, it is difficult when your priest ignores you. This has been happening to me on a fairly regular basis since my time in RCIA. In my case, my priest actively and obviously avoids me. More than once, when we ended up in the same space, he made eye contact and then quickly left the area.

After a year of similar occurrences, I asked my priest if I’d done something to offend him. He assured me that I had not.

I am now so uncomfortable with him that I can’t imagine approaching him if I need real help, such as if someone in my family got seriously ill. If I have a question about the faith, I ask our pastoral associate or a church deacon. I consider both of these people good friends. However, it would be nice to have a priest.

Since I am an older and married woman, I don’t think attraction is the problem. I believe I may remind this priest of some woman he’s had problems with in the past. Still, this treatment disturbs me.

I have no intention of going to another parish where I don’t know anyone, though.

You are so correct. Even if he does not like someone, they should never feel that. Now if the person is being a best or what I call “clingy” he needs to set sound boundaries, but ignoring people is pretty extreme.

Makes me wonder about his vocation.

Well, at least you did ask if there was something wrong or amiss. While I am not trying to excuse rudeness, I think sometimes laity don’t realize the time constraints and pressure on priests and going up to talk to a priest after Mass or in other chance approaches or run ins seems to be misinterpreted here as rudeness when maybe it isn’t. I have found in experiences that if you need to speak to a priest, it is best to make an appointment. That sound rather sad but considering priest shortages and the demands on their time, they probably have to brush aside people which is interpreted as rudeness or the priest doesn’t like me. Some priests are more approachable than others, some do better with the chance talking or after Mass talking etc. Maybe I’ve learned that if I really need to talk to a priest, make an appointment and I even keep that to a rarity.

It depends on why you want to speak to him.
Our priest does not talk to people “on the fly”. If they need counseling his response is always make an appointment. Mass does take a lot out of a priest. People are always complaining that they do not have enough time after Mass to pray, yet they will approach the celebrant immediately after Mass and expect to engage in a long and potentially very deep conversation. The woman could have been a ministry head, who needed answers asap, or he could have been giving an employee instructions for later in the day.
But saying “he talks to so and so, and not to me,” is not reasonable.
You can ask yourself:
Do I corner him every time I see him?
Are my questions easily answered by a staff member?
Am I simply wanting casual conversation at an inopportune time?
Do I need serious counseling, or confession?

If the other priest is friendlier, maybe your approach to him was different. How is it different? Do you consider him a friend, rather than a problem solver?

I’ve worked in parishes for eons. You would be amazed at the high number of times the priest can barely take a step without someone stopping them for the most random things.
Some, are quite serious. But the priest has to prioritize and make a decision on the fly…appointment, or drop what I’m doing. At any rate, right after a Mass or anytime in the Sacristy or Narthex is probably a bad time.

Make an appointment.
Come right out and ask him : Father, have I offended you? Have I made a pest of myself? You seem to distance yourself from me, and would really love to get to know you better. He may be unaware that you are hurt by this. At any rate, you will get an explanation.
If you want answers, you’ll have to get an appointment and ask outright.
Good luck!

We really shouldn’t try to second guess anything because we have so few details here. Maybe the priest had to go someone after Mass, maybe in interactions from before, he realized Op might be talking too long. We really don’t know the history of their interaction. Some priests are much better with chance encounters and dealing with people than others and some priests work better with set appointment to talk about things. Some priests are great at handling person to person interaction but are horrible at administering a parish yet other priests are more of the administering type yet not so great with people skills. I’ve seen both and we can’t judge any priest by what little we have here. Maybe if we spent more time praying for our priests instead of complaining about them, we would see some change.

If OP is female, the priest could be misreading her intentions and it’s making him uncomfortable. The natural solution would be to avoid a lot of contact. The priest could be avoiding her because he finds her attractive too. Priests are still human.

Amen sister!

Im female and my priest doesn’t misread my intentions, we have a laugh just like anybody else, if this person is being made to feel that they should attend another parish then obviously something is wrong, maybe they should simply email the priest or phone for an appointment, but to be made them feel that they are being ignored that shouldn’t happen at all. the priest could just turn around and say that his busy

I dont think its wrong it shouldn’t matter what gender the person is, if they need to speak to the priest then they should be able to, we dont know anything about this person or the priest and shouldn’t make up reason why the priest is coming across that he is ignoring this person.

Just because your priest doesn’t misread you, doesn’t mean OP doesn’t make this priest uncomfortable. We aren’t there, so we don’t know the whole situation. OP could also be totally misreading him.

The only time I ever spoke frequently to my priest was during RCIA. I never try to talk to him before or after Mass, which is the only time I see him. Other than to say hello, of course. He avoids rather than “brushes off.”

The OP did state that the priest Whenever he sees me he turns away. One day I was waiting to talk to him after mass, He was talking to a woman and we were the only two left in the church. As she finished talking she turned to leave but he opened a new topic and continued to talk to her. This happened three times when I realised that he did not want to talk to me. So I left.
so the priest was aware that the OP wanted to talk to him, the priest could have said sorry im in a rush can we make an appointment,

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