Parish Priests Greeting Parishoners


I like seeing our parish priest greet and talk with parishoners outside the church. To see the interaction is of great importance. He doesn't appear too distant or uninterested. We should at least take the time to thank our priests for their service to God and the parish community. What are your thoughts?


We should always show great respect and reverence for these Men who so selflessly decided to sacrifice their lives for CHRIST and HIS CHURCH (meaning you and me). Remember "NO Priest, No EUCHARIST". No Priest, No confession!

Thank You to all my Priests and Soon to be Priests out there!!

Please pray that I may follow and become one myself!!


I like when my priest greets everyone after mass. It definitely adds that personal touch.


I like saying hello to our pastor after Mass and all, but I also really want to stay in the church for a few minutes after Mass and pray. I try to show appreciation to our priest because he is a wonderful priest and also because I found out how hard the pastor of our previous church was working... after we left :o So now I pray for priests and also want to encourage them :)


Definitely it is great. And if there is coffee hour it would be great if priests can join that as well.


We visited a parish in a neighboring town Sunday. The celebrant was a retired visiting Priest who has nearly 50 years in the priesthood. He walks with a cane and cannot stand for long. After mass, I thanked him for answering God's call to service, and as he shook my hand, I raised it and kissed it, as those hands bring my Lord to me. He was very thankful. No Priest, no mass - it's that simple.

I also hope (and pray) that many young men saw his struggles and are pondering their call to serve the Lord in the priesthood.


[quote="mexolic, post:1, topic:305083"]
I like seeing our parish priest greet and talk with parishoners outside the church. To see the interaction is of great importance. He doesn't appear too distant or uninterested. We should at least take the time to thank our priests for their service to God and the parish community. What are your thoughts?


We have a young parochial vicar at my parish. Even when he is not celebrating Mass he shows up at least a 1/2 hour early and talks to people and shakes their hands both outside and inside the church. Not in a glad-handing way, but in a very low key, quiet, sincere manner.

Some of the people he has said "hello" to are lifetime parishioners who have not had a priest approach them at the parish in decades. The "arrive 5 minutes before Mass and rush away immediately after Mass" model has done a real number on my parish. I sense hope in this young priest. Hope I have not witnessed for a very long time.


I would rather my priest continue to hear confessions before and after Mass.


It is nice to have the priest there to greet people before Mass for a short time, but after Mass is nice also. Even if you say hello only after Mass as most people tend to do, that is a good thing. I do not see it as often at the EF Masses I've been to lately unless the priest goes to hearing more confessions after Mass which is a possibility.


Personally; I'm not particular about turning the Catholic House of God into one grand Greeting House for God's children before Mass. Some may find what I say as an insult.
A Catholic Church is above all a House of Prayer with Jesus present in the Tabernacle before Mass.

Sigh! the Church sure has changed into a People centered house instead of a proper "God" centered house of prayer without distractions and fanfare for this driven necessity of chatting before Mass.

A former beloved priest I served with for over tens years before his retirement would come in before all Masses one hour and spend half of that hour before the Tabernacle praying for his congregation. The next half hour he would devide his time between the Sacristy and Sanctuary making sure everything was copasetic and proper setting for Mass.

Formerly people would arrived a half hour before Mass in solitude of prayer reciting the rosary to themselves or in meditation and preparing their soul to mercifully receive Jesus in the Eucharist in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

A priest above all is a man of prayer, a shepherd who leads his flock by example and sets his flock on the proper path to salvation. The Good Book of the Bible says there is a proper Time and Place for everything. I don't see any importance of a priest mingling with his congregation before Mass. Traditionally this happens after Mass.


I agree that greeting the congregation before Mass is a nice-to-have but not essential practice. I know two priests, pastors of different parishes, who are particularly dear to me. One greets the congregation before and after Mass. I felt welcome in his parish from the first time I attended Mass there, which I now do about twice a month whenever I have no responsibilities in my own parish. When I go, I try to make it a point to thank him for his beautiful Masses and joyful practice of his vocation.

The other is my actual pastor. He spends his time before Mass making sure everything is just right for the celebration, but afterwards he devotes a great deal of time to greeting the parishioners as they leave. It was during this mass exodus (no pun intended) one Sunday that I spoke with him for the first time, and that conversation sparked one of the most rewarding :yeah_me: and maddening :banghead: relationships I have ever had with another human being. I thank God for him every day, but I don’t thank him enough for what he does for me, our parish, and the Church. It’s difficult because he is embarrassed by praise directed at him and will either cut me off, change the subject or suddenly find someone else on the other side of the church with whom he must have a word. I wonder what else I could do to get my gratitude across…? :confused:

So yes, I’m a fan of priests interacting with their congregations at Mass—afterwards definitely, before it as a bonus. Having said that, I don’t think I’ve ever belonged to a parish whose priest(s) DIDN’T greet the parishioners as they left after Mass.


It is great when the priest can greet parishioners after Mass, although there are some cases when it it not possible.

A parish I belonged to covered a large geographical area and there were two Sunday Masses at the main parish church in town and one at one of the outlying chapels. When we had two priests available that was fine as one would preside at the early and the district Mass, however when there was only one priest he would have to leave straight after the second Mass to get to the district chapel in time.

Where I currently attend, we have around 1000 people attending every "Sunday Mass" which take place at 6, 7, 8, 9:30 and 11am (the two early ones have no hymns) - after Mass the priests go to their offices behind the church and anyone who needs a brief meeting with them goes to see them there. Given the number of people and the tight scheduling of Masses there is no other way to do it.


[quote="UpUpAndAway, post:11, topic:305083"]
I wonder what else I could do to get my gratitude across...? :confused:


Find out what he likes and make small gifts to him.
My husband and I are very close to three priests. The first is my former confessor and spiritual director, who also led my husband to baptism and confirmation. He's rather ascetic and I ususally gift him with a spiritual bouquet or an appropriate book.
The second is my husbands godfather and confirmation sponsor who very much enjoys jam.:D So I make sure he always has a good supply of my homemade jam.

The third is our pastor and confessor, he enjoys good food and Disc World novels:). So we invite him to dinner and feed him hearty home cooked meals. The invitation always includes taxi service so he can have a beer and a glass or two of whiskey. And I search garage sales to find the Disc World books he hasn't read yet.
I also knit socks and scarves and the like for all three of them and I pray for them every day.
I tell them they're part of the family and as such I like to pamper them a bit.


Some benefits of being a very small parish. A group of us usually take Father out for dinner after our Vigil mass every Saturday. A great way to really get to know your priest. Our priest lives alone, so it's nice for him to have meals with others instead of alone.

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