Priest over for dinner - how often is appropriate?



Recently my family had our pastor over for dinner - we all had a lot of fun and already want to invite him over again! I mentioned this to a friend of mine and he basically warned me about inviting him over too often, trying to become the favorites, monopolizing his time, etc. Obviously, I had no intention of becoming inappropriate, but his warning did make me think twice about inviting him over a second time. What do you all think? Should we just do it once a year? Twice a year? Once total? Honestly we’d love to have him once a month, but I can see how that would get old for everyone really fast!



Sometimes a priest clicks with a family and they become close friends. I know of a priest that goes out to breakfast on a regular basis with a husband and wife. I know of another one who vacations with the same family once a year. In my opinion, a priest needs these relationships, but it should be entirely up to him to determine if and how often he socializes with them. He does have to be mindful of not playing favorites among parishoners.

I would say wait 2 - 3 months and invite him again. If he accepts, great! If he declines, is it because he’s truly busy or because it’s not appropriate at this time? Follow his lead.


I’m sure he would enjoy being invited over again. If you had good food and good company, what’s the big deal?


I’d suggest no more than once a day for sure. :smiley:


When I was a kid we had our one priest over quite a few times, but he was the sort of priest that people nearly fought over to have at their houses (and then again to be invited as guests to whoever’s house he was dining at). In the time he was at our parish I don’t believe he ever had dinner alone. I’d considered having our current priest over for dinner but wasn’t sure whether there was some sort of proper protocol to follow when inviting him, or like the OP, any other things to be mindful of (as in asking too frequently).


I have become friends with a former pastor and I am mindful about the “too often” thing. We (my boys and I) sometimes go to Mass at his current parish and take him to eat afterwards. I try to let 3 or 4 months pass, and sometimes it is more than that due to other commitments on both sides.


We have annual dinners with the priest who married us. But that is mostly because he is extremely busy and we are about an hour apart. If we were closer, I’m sure we would get together more often.

For a parish priest I would say ask again in a few months. If he is the only priest at your parish, he’s likely to be very busy. You might also consider inviting him out for an afternoon coffee or something like that. You’d still get to have the fun time, but it would also allow him to be free for an evening meeting or perhaps dinner at another parishioner house! :wink:


Thanks everybody!

A few months sounds reasonable - and that was my instinct - I just wanted to check with you all! You never know what kind of unspoken rules there are :stuck_out_tongue:


Invite him every few months. We had a priest in our parish that we invited over frequently. In fact we used to invite him over on Christmas Eve for dinner. It became a standard thing until he was transferred . Even then we have kept in contact with him and see him when we can both arrange it. He has married 5 out of our 6 children, because they know him and love him as a family member. I imagine that when the youngest decides to get married, if that is God’s decision for her, he will be there for her.


In my humble opinion, as often is appropriate as he feels like coming and you feel like inviting at the same time, without other people feeling neglected if they’d also like him to come. :slight_smile:


When I first came back into the Church and brought my family with me, we were assisted by the associate pastor at the parish and soon he became very close to our family. In the 16 months we knew him before he was transferred away, he went out to dinner with my husband and me probably once a month, and came to our home twice for special occasions…once for his birthday and once for a going-away dinner when he was leaving. He remains a special friend even though he transferred back to his home diocese, 1500 miles away. We stay in touch through e-mail now, and if he ever returns here again, he will certainly be invited for dinner or to go out for dinner. I look forward to the day when he, God willing, will marry off our children. I have been very blessed by this friendship and so I don’t see anything wrong with becoming close friends with your pastor and having him over as often as both of your schedules will allow. Priests get lonely and they need good friends for companionship, so if he would like to come to your home again, by all means, invite him!


My first instinct was that the devil would have you believe that you would be monopolizing a priest or being too aggressive with him. The devil doesn’t want the priest to be happy or have any close friends.

Having said that, if he’s your friend, treat him like a friend. Invite him over whenever you feel like it!!! There are no rules to friendship. Don’t listen to anyone else. We all have busy lives…I’m a working mom and I’m crazy busy, but I make time for good friends.

Priests need good friends too and if you guys have clicked, then that’s great!!! If he can’t make very invitation b/c he’s busy, so be it. There’s nothing wrong with inviting him out!!!


I agree with jpjd . . . sometimes a priest does click with a family!

We have our associate over for dinner whenever he wants. He is like a member of the family and knows the door is always open to him. If other plans fall through, he knows he can stop by unannounced for a homemade dinner rather than sitting home alone. Besides, I think he gets a kick out of playing Candyland with the little ones after dinner. He sometimes brings friends. He sometimes brings other priest friends. He sometimes comes solo. Doesn’t matter – he’s like a brother and we enjoy seeing him. I guess I never thought about the “playing favorites” thing because we don’t publicize his visits or have any expectations of him. Sometimes, he’ll come over 2 or 3 times in a month. Other months, he has weddings, anniversaries, wakes, retreats and conferences to attend and just can’t get a free evening so we leave it up to him. IMHO, giving an open invitation to someone whose company you enjoyed and who seemed to enjoy yours sounds totally appropriate.

We also helped a newly ordained who is from another country to establish a relationship with a local family who is also from that country. The priest is getting more comfortable with his “US family” and spends time at their home. I think it’s nice that priests have what Jesus had – a home like Martha & Mary’s where he can come when he wants to be with friends.


I take the priest that took me through my instructions to become catholic out for dinner or lunch every fathers day because he is my spiritual father my real father is no longer living I take this certain priest out to a resturant rather than my home because being that I am single I do not want people to think the worst even though I trust him with all my heart since he has always been so fatherly to me and has never spoke to me or touched me in any way that has been improper


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