No one in difficult person's communion line?



The Church is desperate for male involvement and priestly vocations.

I see a high school male stepping up to help and possibly considering the priesthood, if his dad or uncle was involved.

I don’t see him doing it if his mom or aunt was involved.

I think women are strong enough to see the truth of that without falling apart.


Yes, yes it is.

No matter who you are doing it to.


She treats people poorly. Very poorly in some cases.


It’s not a matter of being “hard of heart.” It’s a matter of ignoring direction that might spoil the prepared, peaceful condition of their souls before receiving communion.

The place for this to be handled by the priest is sometime after the Mass ends, in private with this woman.


Their certainly is in my parish.

There certainly would be in other parishes also if an effort was made to recruit them.


So, I assume your parish is filled with young men serving then?


We will have to agree to disagree. I have never been in a parish where people don’t switch lines and had empty EMHC lines so I have a difficult time seeing this as sinful.

I think the largest fault lines with the pastor who appears to have ignored so many complaints that resentment has gotten out of hand.


This I agree with.

I have been involved with many parishes over the years, and while I have seen my share of dysfunction, I have never seen the level of “passive-aggressiveness” that this thread is about. That is problematic to me.

Which calls into question the whole story. I can’t understand how this has not been taken care of if this person’s behavior is such a big issue that large groups of people avoid them.


Do you have some examples?


I will give you a personal one. Among other things this person is in charge of altar servers at my parish. Thankfully I’m grandfathered and do not fall under her dominion. This incident happened while my parish was between pastors several years ago.

A guy from the Scripture study program I was involved with wanted to learn how to serve Mass with all the “bells and smells” so that he could do so for his out-of-town best friend that was going to be married at our parish.

Knowing it was only for this Mass (he was close to graduating from college and moving on) and knowing this problem person had no jurisdiction over nuptial Masses (outside clerics, servers, EMsHC, readers, etc. are very common – she’s not part of the loop unless someone asks her to be) I agreed to train him. I did so at a series of three Saturday morning Mass with the happy permission of the celebrant --a retired priest that had given me first communion decades before.

The training was complete and he was ready and waiting for the nuptial Mass when she heard about it. She went ballistic. It had nothing to do with doing the right thing, it had everything to do with a perceived threat to her turf.

She sent me 4 emails harsh, threatening emails telling me to tell the guy I trained to stand down. That she would assign a server for the coming nuptial Mass. In very careful terms I essentially told her to mind her own business. Then she started to call me with the same demands. My response was the same.

Then the vicar general (who I barely know) of the diocese called me – remember, we had no pastor at the time. She had started to email him! I very carefully explained what was going on and forwarded her emails to him. He then sent a brief email back telling me that it was taken care of, etc.

This the sort of thing that members of the parish had been exposed to.


If she had no jurisdiction, did you remind her she didn’t? Maybe she just doesn’t know her place.


Of course I did.


Good job. Well, maybe the Priest should let her know what a trouble she has been, and trying to counsel her in ways she can be more charitable.


Yes, I concur…


I agree with this, but I also see another side.

If it were me, I would have let said coordinator know that I was training such & such for a very specific role that he was requested to fill.

It sounds like many balls were dropped in the communication department here.

And this brings me to my next question- OP, you say this incident happened several years ago. Isn’t it time ot maybe let it go?


No. It was none of her business.

However the parish’s wedding coordinator (who actually had the responsibility/authority) was apprised of the situation from the beginning and had no problem with it. It was a non-issue except to the problem person.

What gave you the impression this was her last transgression – against me or other members of the parish?


I guess just years of working with all different types of people have given me a different perspective.

Is it really that difficult to communicate with others? She was in charge of the altar servers. Maybe she felt like you were stepping on her toes. People can get defensive, especially when they feel that they are being mistreated. All we have is your word that this person is difficult. Could she feel the same way about you, and so she digs in a little harder?

Wouldn’t it be better to try and come to some sort of understanding with this woman, and work together for the betterment of the parish than tearing her down? And what does your Pastor say about this whole mess?
I can’t believe that he has not done anything to help remedy the situation.


I’m quite certain my own experiences are at least as varied as your own.

She wasn’t mistreated by anyone. Conversely her own behavior (the emails, the phone calls, contacting the VG, etc.) were way out of line.

As someone else noted, she is an occasion of sin for many. It’s best to avoid her.

The incident I described above wouldn’t happen today. But wholly unacceptable incidents still do.


Pastors don’t always get involved.

We have a woman our parish openly refers to as the Wedding Nazi.

People go into it going “Oh, she’s not so bad.” And come out of it going “She was worse than any of you said!”

The pastor has been repeatedly told but she’s still there.


That’s very true. If one listed the potential reasons why pastors don’t get involved with sticky situations (particularly personnel situations) the list is quite long:

  1. It’s simply difficult, often distasteful work. I have watched 2 new pastors (from a distance, not my parish) over the years reform parishes that were essentially out of control. The lumps they took in the process were considerable even with the full support of the bishop.

  2. In some cases the transgressor has a “hook” within the parish – been there for 25+ years, married to a deacon, etc. and they’re not going anywhere.

  3. In some cases the transgressor is a considerable financial benefactor to the parish, or is supported by one or more such benefactor(s).

  4. Pastor is personal friends with the transgressor.

  5. Transgressor has a difficult life in one way or another and pastor is reticent to make it any more difficult.

  6. Simply doesn’t want to make the effort to train someone new.

I am sure there are more.

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