Should I be paying our priest something?


I have been seeing our parish priest for guidance and support in the wake of my husband’s affair which he revealed to me nearly 6 months ago. We are also seeing a marriage counsellor and I see an individual counsellor as well as this has totally shaken up my life leading me very near a nervous breakdown over the summer. Of all the counselling and guidance I have been receiving, I get so much more out of the time I spend with our priest. Oddly enough, my faith has grown exponentially from all of this. We give generously to our church, and I have always given a stipend for sacraments, but I haven’t been paying for this time with our priest - should I be? If so, how much? I spend about 30 mins to an hour with him every two weeks or so.



He doesn’t expect payment, what he’s doing is his “job”. Should you send him a nice card that expresses your gratitude for all that he has done for you? Sure.


You should definitely express your gratitude and maybe give him some kind of gift for holidays, not for every time you talk. Have him over for dinner often too! It’s great to have priests like yours :slight_smile:


As long a you pay your tithe and have helped in service here or there, I would not feel obligated. You can maybe cook for this pastor or take him to dinner with your family as a nice gesture or charity for his birthday or “just because.” I cannot understand why people do not utilize priests more for therapy, they have heard it all! They are fully equipped theologians with answers to fix ourselves to fall in line with God’s teaching.


In reality this is not true. While most priests do take a course or maybe two in Pastoral Counseling, it is in no way equal to therapy that one would receive from a qualified therapist. And not all priests are theologians, only those with advanced degrees in specialized areas. Yes, some priests (including my spiritual director I might add) are very good at offering spiritual advice and even some advice that might be similar to what one would receivce in counseling. Yet, any good priest knows his limitations and would not attempt to do what is beyond his expertise. Most priests I know who counsel people would not hesitate to suggest a person see a professional counselor for help in dealing with different situations.


Paying a tithe is not Catholic teaching.


You do not have to pay him. If you are already contributing the Church, that is enough. Of course you can feel free to make extra contributions whenever you want. You can always devote an hour or prayer a week to vocations in gratitude for the help you are getting from this priest.


I have heard 10% of your salary as a suggestion growing up, no one ever did, though. Our church tried to make you lock into paper contracts - during the mass, which I thought was unfair as the church has an 80% no show rate, they should target the no show parishoners on a massive campaign, why should people who actually show, participate, and contribute pay for those who do not?


Most priests know the very basics of counseling, and I retract from saying just any priest…, it is true that people prefer talking to some priests over others. The priests I approach have always been able to help me and yes they may guide you to someone else within the church for more thorough analysis. I have not had to utilize in depth help yet, but other parishoners say it is far better than going to someone off your insurance plan.


You’re not indebted to the priest at all. You sought help within the church and she(the church) was there for you. Now it wouldn’t hurt to give your priest a thank you card and perhaps, if you don’t already, donate some money during the offertory. Maybe ask your priest if there is any physical work like gardening that the church could use. What I’m saying is don’t let the good stop at you, let it continue to flow to where else your time and talents could be used. That’s how you can give back to the church.


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