Qualities you expect most from priests and nuns?


#1

I expect them to be holy and compassionate towards others. :)


#2

And they will be if lay Catholics have the same qualities. We are one Body you know. We cannot expect them to be something we are not. One Church, One Body, all obliged to be Holy. Linus


#3

[quote="Linusthe2nd, post:2, topic:315540"]
And they will be if lay Catholics have the same qualities. We are one Body you know. We cannot expect them to be something we are not. One Church, One Body, all obliged to be Holy. Linus/QUOTE

They are called to lead us closer to Christ . I expect more from them than the person sitting next to me in church. Of course we are all called to be holy and I look to them to help be get there :D

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#4

I expect them to know more than I do, so that if I need information on a subject I have to teach on I can make an appointment and pick his/their brain. I expect them to be committed to shepherding the flock, always challenging us to go deeper and higher. I expect them to live their vocation joyfully, expressing that joy in the manner suited to their God given personality.

I have been blessed to find all of this and much more in the priests at my parish. They are an inspiring group of men, and I have learned much from each one of them.
Kris


#5

[quote="QuiteCatholic, post:3, topic:315540"]

They are called to lead us closer to Christ . I expect more from them than the person sitting next to me in church. Of course we are all called to be holy and I look to them to help be get there :D

[/quote]

I recall a quote from St. John Vianney our former priest quoted in his sermon for Good Shepherd Sunday:

If the priest is a saint, the people will be holy. If the priest is holy, the people will be good. But if the priest is good, the people will be Godless.

That priest is so holy that it's actually uncomfortable to be in his presence because you feel so sinful.

I expect priests to be orthodox and to take their vocation as a spiritual father seriously. Fatherhood isn't 9-5, and neither is the priesthood. I expect priests to celebrate Mass and the Sacraments frequently and reverently saying the black, and doing the red. I expect priests to recite the Divine Office daily as canonically required, and to have a solid prayer/spiritual life. I expect priests to be constantly striving to become saints and to grow in holiness. I also expect priests to have spines and to get over being "Fr. Popular" and call a spade a spade. I also expect priests to hold their congregations to high standards and to not let them get lukewarm, and to encourage them to keep striving for perfection no matter how many times they fall. I also expect that priests will have bad days, and hope they don't take it out on other people, and if they do, apologize.

I also expect the laity to pray earnestly for priests.


#6

Exactly! Totally agree with you here. I do expect them to be examples, or at least I expect them not to be examples of how not to behave: ie. to not to leave the church with more sins than when you went in, or to not find the priest an obstacle to God, and to not find they give you pain and hurt and not much else. I think we can expect them to be something we are not (not saying we are as bad as that) - but because we are not religious! ie. we have not, at a basic level, received that calling from God or chosen to devote our lives so publicly (celibacy, daily mass etc) to Him - and after all aren’t they supposed to be in leadership positions? We should critique where they are leading us to.
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#7

#8

I want a priest who cares about people. Now this can be hard in a larger parish, but it can make a difference. Not to be crticial, but in my small rural parish my priest could care less about my family. Only seems to like the important (I.e, rich) people. I don’t blame him and churches need money, but a priest is supposed to be a father to all. Not just some people.


#9

I expect them to be human beings. I don’t generalize.

Priests, nuns and other religious (such as monks and apostolic sisters) should all be amazing people, truly living out God’s call for them in a radical, beautiful way for the world to see or secluded in prayer for the world and their community. They should lead others to holiness by exemplifying each and every virtue. Chances are, if a person is not willing to surrender their will in full to God and His Church than they are not ready to become a priest or religious.


#10

I expect deep holiness from both. And from nuns I expect contagious joy


#11

That would be generally an unreasonable expectation from most nuns, who recieve no special training in theology/ecclesialogy/mariology/scripture/apologetics, etc. “Nuns” are women living under vows in community. They are not clergy. They are laiety.

Here again, nuns are not called to “lead”. That charism is restricted to priests and bishops who are ordained to be the “head” of the church.
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#12

Nothing more than what I should except of myself.


#13

[quote="HelenRose, post:12, topic:315540"]
Nothing more than what I should except of myself.

[/quote]

BEST ANSWER EVER!! :D

Question answered, close the thread!! ;)


#14

[quote="HelenRose, post:12, topic:315540"]
Nothing more than what I should except of myself.

[/quote]

Truly an insightful answer.

One of the difficulties with the priestly vocation (and indeed with vocations to the diaconate and religious life) is the expectations that people have - such as those put forward already in this thread. These expectations are entirely reasonable and the fact that people have them is unsurprising really. The problem though is that priests, deacons and religious are of course human - just like everyone else. If anything in fact, those called to these vocations are often not the most likely, obvious or perhaps worthy candidates - and they themselves are only too aware of this and of their own shortcomings.

So there's a conflict (or at least a tension) then between the expectations and reality. When clergy and religious fall short of our expectations we tend to view their filings more harshly than we would if the failure was on the part of a lay person. Again, this is both understandable and reasonable.

What is needed are prayers and support for those who must struggle with the weight of these expectations. HelenRose's contribution is a reminder of the call to become perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect - a call which applies to all of us individually and collectively.


#15

[quote="lilelvispresley, post:1, topic:315540"]
I expect them to be holy and compassionate towards others. :)

[/quote]

Characteristic of this age I find most wanting. Pretty dangerous ground here, hey?. :rolleyes:

1/Homilies are too ambiguous when a specific point is desired to express. Also, some use terminology only those who are learned in theology would understand. I think the loss of honor among men(congregation thinking he's a real cool priest) and keeping up attendance records is the motive. It takes a lot of courage to state his concern about for instance, and not exclusively, the attendance to confessions and how it's statistically out of kilter with the number of communions.

2/Stigmatism. I have seen priests (and dioceses) who only show public inter communication with the socially marginalized, but ignore them in private. Again honor.

3/Adherance to and propagating the idea that rules based on false principles of the common good is OK.

4/Those holding counseling positions in fraternities should be taught the finer points of social relationships and human behavior, or, should be elected as well as for the other reasons based on knowledge of these skills. A well rounded counsel would have members who are skilled in psychology.

5/For fraternities, the practice of having spiritual directors who are also part of the elective counsel should be stopped. In fact the Church shows concern in the Church proper for this type of arrangement, and recommends that the director state to the subject before anything is revealed that the session could cause a conflict of interest. This is not done in fraternities. It calls into question whether Francis's adherence to Church rules is even taken seriously by fraternities today, and paints a bad picture to candidates so early in his progress.

There are more but I've gotta go. :)


#16

[quote="SMOM, post:11, topic:315540"]
That would be generally an unreasonable expectation from most nuns, who recieve no special training in theology/ecclesialogy/mariology/scripture/apologetics, etc. "Nuns" are women living under vows in community. They are not clergy. They are laiety.

I was thinking more of priests and deacons when I wrote my comment, however, in spite of their lack of formal training in theology, etc. I think sister who has been living in a community for a while would have a lot I could learn, just from her practical experience. Some of the wisest people I have come across have little or no formal theological training. Life is a great teacher when it comes to the practical aspects of living our faith on a daily basis.
Kris
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#17

I expect them to wear the uniform. If they do not wear the collar outside of Mass, then a) how does anyone know they're a priest, or if people do, why b) would anyone think that being a priest matters at all if it's not even taken seriously enough to dress like one?


#18

This is an interesting topic but I would caution against listing your expectations of religious and priests. Many of the above posts are misguided. Priests and brothers and sisters are all human beings. We will never live up some of your aspirations for us. We are sinners just like everyone else and we are trying our best to get to Heaven and bring as many people with us as possible through our lives. This is the same thing each of you is called to do as well whether you are married or single.

Every sister is a unique human being and so is every priest. One might have the gift of teaching, another prayer, another nursing, another preaching... no one person in the Body of Christ has all the gifts you have listed. One sister may have an advanced degree in theology where a priest may have what was necessary for his ordination. A priest could be a phenomenal teacher and a sister a phenomenal prayer. A brother could be a better nurse than a sister.

We are each called to use our gifts to build up the Kingdom but that doesn't mean we will be always smiling and joyful - there are heartaches in our lives just as there are heartaches in yours! There are difficulties, sadnesses, and struggles as well as great joys and happiness in our lives. These are made even more difficult by the inhuman expectations that people place upon us.

We are all human beings. If you truly expect all these things from us, I'm sorry to say you will be disappointed. The qualities that could be more guaranteed are; struggle for holiness, generosity of heart, and love of God. These are, hopefully, the same qualities that mark your life as one lived for God too.


#19

[quote="SrMarie, post:18, topic:315540"]
This is an interesting topic but I would caution against listing your expectations of religious and priests.

[/quote]

Thank you sister. My only expectation from both the religious and priests is that try their best to live out their vocation in true humility and in obedience to the church and their founders (if religious). To always place God first. Anything else is just a wish list.


#20

[quote="jc4751, post:17, topic:315540"]
I expect them to wear the uniform. If they do not wear the collar outside of Mass, then a) how does anyone know they're a priest, or if people do, why b) would anyone think that being a priest matters at all if it's not even taken seriously enough to dress like one?

[/quote]

Good point. There's a sense of Catholic pride when we see out priests in public this way. Just think of it, a disciple of Christ in our presence today. This is truly wonderous.


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