Our priest will be retiring at some point in the near future. My husband, youngest son and I have grown quite close to him. We’ve had the opportunity to get to know him, and he us, because we have recently converted. Its been through my husband and I taking the RCIA course last year and then we went to the classes again this year with our youngest son that we’ve had much time with father. What my question is, how do you get acquainted with a new priest? I do understand that its not about the priest its about Mass. However, I’d like to be able to form a relationship with our future priests when they come in. We are all active in our church and hope to be even more so by the time father retires. Will this be our opening for getting to know the new guy
Introduce yourself and invite him out or to your home for dinner.
Be as warm as you can…and mention that you are available to volunteer for any special project he has once he settles in. New priests are kind of overwhelmed.Best to be genuinely warm, offer your services and wait for him to call. That invitation to dinner is great, so long as the conversation sticks to " So Father…have you any big plans for us?" Only voice opinions if he asks. An invitation to friendship via dinner is great.
It’s wonderful that you are so willing to make him feel very welcome and accepted right off the bat. Many parishes flounder for a while because they want the new priest to be exactly like the old priest. It can be very hurtful and set up an atmosphere that is not terribly charitable.
God bless you and your devoted family!
The same way you did with this priest.
Maybe it’s not RCIA, but some other activity in the parish.
This is exactly why I’m asking in advance! From what I understand there have been many that don’t exactly jive with our current priest for various reasons. Since this will be my first time experiencing this huge change I’d like to be prepared on the etiquette. Thanks to all of you for the wonderful ideas
Agree. That’s what I’ve always done. Priests enjoy a home cooked meal.
How do you get to know anyone?
I know when my pastor retired (after being there since I was in about 4th grade) it was hard for everyone. The new priest was not the same, and we all didn’t like him at first. It wasn’t that we didn’t like him, it was just that he did things differently. There is nothing wrong with that.
I’m sure this new priest will be overwhelmed at first… I don’t care how long a person may have been a pastor before, it has to be tough going to a new parish. Having people come up to you, introduce yourself to you, and invite you over for dinner I think is an excellent offer. Also offering to help in any way and become more active in your ministry in the church is excellent also. I don’t know what you do now with your church, but possibly ask the priest how you can become a lector, Eucharistic minister, etc, and see where it leads you.
And by all means, pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance.
YBIC - John
And I think you have to be patient and give it time.
When we joined our parish, the pastor defined the parish. That is, he had (has) a huge personality, he was engaging, outgoing, funny, charismatic (in the secular sense), was a gifted orator, etc. And a few years later, he left.
Our new pastor came in, and he had huge shoes to fill. It took a while because he wasn’t the same guy as our former pastor. But, it wasn’t too long before he became the beloved and engaging, outgoing, funny, charismatic (in the secular sense), gifted orator, etc. that the other guy was.
Just give it time, and give him time to settle in.
p.s., I’m using the term pastor because we have only one priest at our parish, and he is the pastor.