I apologize if this is in the wrong place in the forum. I worked at my parish for a while cleaning. My supervisor was also the finance director. One day, I saw her come up to the church and show no reverence before the Tabernacle. Recently, she did this again so I decided to ask her if she can show reverence when she goes up to the church (since our offices are in the basement). We didn’t have time to talk about that until today. She told me that correcting such behavior is father’s job and that I should not worry about that and do my job. She also stated that I should not be correcting such behavior in other people. She also told me to respect others’ beliefs and stated that she was a catholic and that she goes to Eucharistic Adoration. Out of frustration that I was not able to come to an agreement with her, I quit my job. I am concerned, did I do wrong in asking her (a catholic) to show reverence before the Tabernacle? Should I have left that entire situation (supervisor not showing reverence) to father? I’m feeling depressed; I feel like everything that I did was wrong. I feel that I should talk with father, but I think that he will take her side because what I did was his job. I seriously thought I was stopping an abuse against Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Any comments on this? Any suggestions?
Was she omitting a sign of reverence, such as a failure to bow or genuflect toward the tabernacle when she passed it in the Church? Or was she actively being irreverent in front of the tabernacle?
If she was merely omitting a sign of reverence, then I agree with her that it was not your place to say something to her. And the fact that she goes to Adoration demonstrates she understands the reality of Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist. But if someone is frequently needing to pass through the church in order to come and go for business purposes, I would imagine that one would be preoccupied and would not always remember to perform a sign of reverence before the tabernacle. I don’t think that such an omission would call for admonishment.
But, why did this lead you to quit your position? Did she ask you to resign, or did you feel too embarrassed to stay after the confrontation, or is there another reason?
She told me that correcting such behavior is father’s job and that I should not worry about that and do my job.
She was 100 percent correct.
She also stated that I should not be correcting such behavior in other people.
You can correct others behavior, but obviously this was not one of those occasions.
She also told me to respect others’ beliefs and stated that she was a catholic and that she goes to Eucharistic Adoration.
You obviously offended your boss.
Out of frustration that I was not able to come to an agreement with her, I quit my job.
What? that was not the rational thing to do! This tells me that there is more of a problem with your attitude than just innocently correcting someone.
Should I have left that entire situation (supervisor not showing reverence) to father?
Yup 100 percent.
I feel that I should talk with father, but I think that he will take her side because what I did was his job.
Or he just might take her side because it is the right side. You were way out of line. If you were my employee I would not want to work with you again.
I seriously thought I was stopping an abuse against Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Any comments on this? Any suggestions?
Did God ordain you Eucharist police? If you were truly concerned you should have told Father. He may have just brushed it aside. That this escalated to the point of you quitting shows that the abuse here was not solely against the Eucharist. You should learn from this situation. If I were Father I would “take her side” not because I think she should not kneel, but because someone she supervises was insubordinate, out of line and overly heated about the situation.
Well, what I thought was that if she went to Eucharistic Adoration, then she should show reverence before the Blessed Sacrament. All the other employees show reverence. I decided to quit my job because I felt that my supervisor and I could not come to an agreement with the whole showing-reverence situation and because I was given too much work for little pay. I had to clean disgusting things (cannot say) without gloves all because my supervisor was on vacation without bothering to order more supplies before she left.
Thinking about it, I probably did do a lot of things wrong. What should I do now?
Sounds like they might be better off with another employee and you might be better off with another job. Both of you could learn from this. She may have learned something about reverence even though her pride may not let her say so. And you may have learned something about being a better employee.
That is the easy part.
You apologize without expecting her to. Then you either get your job back and help her to help you to have the correct amount of work with the correct supplies.
Or you apologize and find another job.
Or you apologize and stay frustrated in your current situation having your job back but things still being unsatisfactory.
There are lots of things to do, but they all have one thing in common. You apologize. Sometimes that is better than anything else. As an employer I will forgive a TON of things if the employee just owns up to a mistake!
I agree. Thank you for your help.
No problem. God Bless you, and I do know that your heart was in the right place. Protecting Our Lord. That you have such strong feelings about it actually reflects well on your faith. But your delivery could use some work.
Apologizing will be the best thing. I will probably not take that job back, but I now feel very guilty of what I did.
I sometimes volunteer in our parish office, so I am occasionally at the church during business hours. A couple of years ago we also had a seminarian volunteer who was helping with a special project. On this particular day the seminarian and one of the priests were taking supplies from the office to one of the side chapels, necessitating many trips through the main church and past the main altar and tabernacle. I happened to be in the choir loft putting inserts into books. I watched them go back and forth, and every time they passed in front of the tabernacle, the seminarian would stop and reverently genuflect. The first time he did this, the priest stopped and genuflected too. And the second time. The third time the priest kept moving and the seminarian had to catch up after genuflecting. After about the fifth time the priest stopped and genuflected along with the seminarian. As the seminarian started to rise the priest indicated that they would remain on their knees. So there they stayed for about a minute. Finally the priest rose and said, “OK. We’ve done it. He understands. From now on just keep moving.”
Great story! Thanks! I guess I was just being a little too radical.
I genuflect every time, even as a sacristan and altar server who has to make many trips back and forth. I don’t see how it is onerous or burdensome or a bother when the goal is to give glory to God.
Good for that seminarian! Sometimes, student teaches teacher. I know that this can be a problem for those who are frequently in the sanctuary outside of mass, but still…
Once you actually believe that Christ is present, the reverence should become natural. While we are intended to see the accidents of bread which have become Christ, many may look at Christ and see only bread. Don’t ask how I know this! Our example is what must teach. The finance director should also have known that. Now that person does.
Do not beat yourself up over this! While you may not have used the absolute best tactics, but your message was 100% correct.
Thank you for your comment. I truly believe that my Lord and God is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. I have no doubt in my mind. The way I thought about it was that if the Creator of the entire Universe, the Holy of holies, the King of kings, and Lord of lords is with us in the Tabernacle, then the least we should do is show reverence. But that is just my thought.
Yes, an apology will make you both feel better.
By the way, perhaps your boss was showing “reverence” in her own way, and just not in the same way you do it. Perhaps she was doing it silently, saying a quiet prayer every time she passed it. You can’t always guess/assume what is going on from outward appearances. There are many ways to “show reverence”.
But the correct and compulsory way to reverence the Blessed Sacrament is a genuflection. For someone who is physically impeded then a bow suffices, but things such as silent prayer cannot be substituted on anyone’s authority.
Reverence: Deep respect, admiration, estimation, high regard.
Perhaps she cannot bow or go on her knee.
Are you saying if someone cannot bow or go down on a knee, it is impossible to show reverence?
Even a quadriplegic in a wheelchair can effect a pause and a bow of the head. Yes, if for some reason, it is fundamentally impossible to kneel or bow at all, then one does one’s best. But we are not talking about hypotheticals, the OP mentioned a supervisor at church who seems obviously capable of walking and doing most tasks without hindrance.
Alright, I have come to full understanding of the situation. My question now is, should I take the job back? I just don’t want to leave the job like that and I enjoyed spending time in the church itself and just being before Our Lord whenever possible. I know that I will be able to address the situation to the woman in a civilized manner and I am planning on speaking with father about the situation and accept my fault of the problem. I am a college student so I intend on saving as much money as possible, so that is why I am thinking hard about this. I definitely do not want to go through the process of applying to jobs, waiting, etc. Any suggestions?