priest visits

Tell me about your experiences when a priest visits your family home. What do you usually do as a family while the priest is at your home?

Tell me some of your stories if you have had any priestly visits.

The first time I remember a priest coming to our house was a retired priest living at our parish’s rectory. I had built an altar in high school about 20 years ago and the good priest came to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass on it and bless it. I was privileged to serve that Mass as well. Afterwards, we had a dinner with wine and enjoyed some good stories from the priest.

We had subsequent visits from priests, mostly for dinner and there was never anything awkward about it. Our parents instilled a respect for priests in us and we dressed up a bit more when priests came but nothing else happened out of the ordinary.

We used to have our parish priest to dinner all of the time. It was like having our grandparents visit: he was like a family member, but he also had a status above everyone else. He was very down-to-earth, and didn’t expect special treatment. That is the kind of person who is fun to treat especially well!

In general, I have found priests to be very good conversationalists, engaging, and good sports, too. The ones I have known have been some of my very best dinner guests!

Well, I’m sure my situation isn’t typical, but since you asked…

Just a bit of background: My husband, although he attends Mass with me almost every Sunday, is a non-Catholic, non-believer. His Mass attendance is for the purpose of “promoting family unity,” to use his words.

A couple of years ago we had a parish project that required a few strong backs to complete. Lots of heavy lifting involved. My husband is an olympic-style weightlifter, so this was right up his alley. One of the priests from the parish was also involved in this project, and as it happens, DH and Father really hit it off. One of the things they have in common is tennis. Although they are both very busy with their work, they have managed to carve out time for a weekly tennis match with each other.

Anyway, one day I returned from work a bit earlier than usual and heard some “energetic” conversation coming from the back deck. When I went out to see what was going on I was greeted by the sight of two sweaty, shirtless men, fueled by the six pack of beer they had just consumed, loudly and with much animation reliving every point of their recently completed tennis match. Of course I recognized DH immediately, but it must have taken me a good ten seconds to wrap my brain around the fact that the other sweaty, shirtless guy was Father.

It’s true what they say - you cannot “unsee” something once it has been seen. To this day, whenever I attend a Mass that this priest is celebrating, I find myself struggling to suppress a fit of laughter.

Great story, BettyBoop :thumbsup: The Husband is also not Catholic (though he is a believer), but he and our pastor get along like a house on fire. And yes, you can’t unsee something once seen. In some cases relevant to the topic, it’s been most unfortunate :smiley: That’s all I’m going to say about that!

Having a priest over is a new experience for The Husband and me—we just started inviting them last month :o First was our pastor (who is also my boss); the following week we welcomed an African priest visiting a neighboring parish for the summer, and our pastor dropped in briefly for a drink. Both occasions were during the week and for dinner (our schedules don’t allow us to have people over for lunch or at any time Friday through Sunday).

My experience has been similar to EasterJoy’s: I found both priests charming and good conversationalists. They are also very good listeners, though that’s probably not surprising. One other thing I noticed is that they seemed to be relaxed and happy to discuss a variety of topics, particularly those not directly related to their vocation. We treated them as men first and priests second, always keeping the latter in mind, of course. In the case of our pastor, we were pleased to be able to give him a few hours of peace in a neutral setting, as he is always pulled in several directions at once as many pastors are.

The Husband and I have also had drinks with our pastor at the rectory. We consider him to be a friend. Having spent time in each other’s homes seems to have improved my working relationship with Father as well. He is a very demanding boss, and our respective personalities had caused sparks to fly on many occasions. :slapfight: Since we’ve socialized together, however, things have gone much more smoothly.

We’ll probably have the pastor of the aforementioned neighboring parish over in October or November, along with his assistant priest (I expect our pastor will stop by during that as well, though for reasons I prefer not to go into I will not ask him to join us for the entire evening). From what I have seen, priests are gracious guests and make for wonderful company. If we had a larger home, I’d have them over in groups.

I should point out that we have no children, so welcoming priests at our place is an adult occasion. Personally, I’d be curious to hear from people with children (particularly young ones) who have had priests over because I imagine that experience would be at least somewhat different from mine.

:rotfl:

Sometimes after Mass, when the priest was greeting people, he would say to me, “So when am I coming to your house? Your mother looks like a good cook.”

So one weekend me and my non-Catholic family, including the sister, brother-in-law and a toddler niece, had the priest come to dinner. (Buy decent ketchup; we hadn’t thought about him wanting that, and the only ketchup we had was diet generic stuff.) The priest told us some funny stories about his family and the married people in the house told the priest funny stories about how they met and I periodically refilled everyone’s drinks and tried to think of stuff to say but couldn’t. My brother-in-law used variations of “Thank God!” and “Praise Jesus!” in every other sentence because there was a priest in the house (:D) Apparently there was a football game on that evening that the priest was going to partially miss because of our visit, so dad flipped through the channels until he found some football and the family talked with the game in the background.

These are lovely stories and just illustrate what powerful personalities many of our priests have. :smiley:

I’ve never had our priest over to my abode, but being a single woman (although nearly old enough to be his mother), unless it is a sick call, I don’t think that’s appropriate anyway.

However, I have been out to lunch with him. The highlight is sitting opposite a priest (in a black clerical suit and his Roman collar) in a crowded restaurant who vocally intones grace and blesses the food before we eat. Believe me, in this secular age…all eyes are on him with fascination. It does help that he is very handsome, but I think that saying of grace so obviously does stick in people’s brains!

As for company, he is intelligent, down-to-earth, devout, traditional…and incredibly funny with a loud and infectious laugh. A joy to be around, in fact.

Why don’t you have a few friends from the parish come over at the same time?

Our parish priest visited my husband and I at our home last Fall, at a time when we were going through a very difficult situation associated with our work. Father had learned of our problems and just wanted to let us know that we had his support and prayers. He is a truly Godly man in general and he mainly listened well and then prayed for us and along with us. Frankly, I deeply appreciated him taking of his time-- he is very busy as our assistant pastor has been ill with caner and a heart attack and has been hospitalized out of town for months. Father Scott has had to do everything and be everything for everyone in the parish for over a year—all with no help. I think he must get tired as can be, but he just keeps trudging along faithfully. Anyway, he set on our couch and thanked us for letting him visit–imagine him thanking us for “letting him” work an extra several hours of an evening when he could have been off, at his home and doing whatever he enjoys in the tiny amount of time that he isn’t slaving away at our church!. I offered him coffee or a coke which he declined and we just had a wonderful visit. Before he left, we were sharing stories of our grandkids and even growing up years ago. (Priests were once little boys too and they were teenagers and all that as well–though I had never consciously entertained this reality prior to his visit! LOL!) To be honest, I had been a little nervous when he called to say that he wanted to come over. Many silly worries came to mind, including stupid things such as whether my house were clean enough, whether I was dressed appropriately, whether I should hide a bottle of liquor that we’d had forever and that set on a counter in the kitchen as well as whether or not we would even have enough in common to keep a conversation alive for 10 minutes. The bottom line is that we got to know him a little better as a man, not just as a priest in vestments off in the distance. He, in turn, seemed truly interested in learning about our lives.We had never had a priest in our home before. If I were you, I’d look forward to your visit with anticipation and just relax about all the silly stereotypes that cause us to worry about a priest entering our home turf. If our assistant pastor ever gets well and comes back so that I know that Father isn’t working 18 hours a day, I intend to call the rectory and invite him back–maybe for dinner or something. He’s a great priest and a dear friend!

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