The Priest that gets moved to the middle of nowhere!


#1

New to the forum yay :slight_smile:

So I’m going to the seminary literally a year from now when i graduate, and I’m so excited! I guess you can say I have that fire of faith that is so often described in spiritual reading and the writings of the church fathers.Going from being a women and music obsessed teen to a aspiring saint as left quite the impact!

My plans are to be a young priest that embraces the teachings of the church and the excite the parish, to be radically orthodox in church teaching (like we’re supposed to :rolleyes:) .and give awesome homilies that target what’s necessary for salvation! Not just the “be a good sheppard” homily that we get every mass. I commonly express my dissatisfaction with my friends on how every priest I met seems to be tired or bored of the faith and always AVOIDS the important issues. (I literally was ignorant of how easy it is to go to hell and about the second coming until I looked it up out of curiosity a few months ago,… and I’ve gone to mass every Sunday since I was 3) xD

But here’s the scary part, almost everyone I talk to says that the priest that demands much of his parish, challenges them , addresses hot topic issues and that causes any stress/awareness in his congregation is always moved to the parish in the middle of nowhere!!! :eek:

People tell me it’s because “the bishop doesn’t want the priest to scare the congregation and it’s money away” or “a priest needs to not stress out his congregation”.

SO WHAT’S THE DEAL? Apparently the idea of moving the orthodox priest to the “middle of nowhere” is mentioned in Catholic media, family, friends and even my RE class .

Will a priest be moved for taking a firm/radically orthodox stance in his faith and translating this stance in his preaching? :shrug:

Is this kind of priest, the kind of priest I want to be only idealistic? :shrug:

Like will I go to the seminary and will they teach me to be moderate in my homilies? :shrug:


#2

the first and most difficult challenge you will face in entering on this journey is obedience and humility. Priest tell me this is the most difficult of their vows to keep. Monastic rules based on that of St. Benedict stress over and over that humility and obedience are the foundation of spiritual life. Work with you vocations director now and with your superiors in seminary to cultivate these virtues and the rest will come.

I have no idea what your source is talking about so unless your source is the bishop or vicar of priests I would ignore him.


#3

Spider, what a wonderful year to begin in! With so many of us praying for you. My prayers and wishes for your successful serving of our Lord and His flock. Peace.


#4

People in the middle of nowhere need priests.

Everyone had to chose between serving God, or serving his own success.


#5

[quote="laszlo, post:4, topic:242514"]
People in the middle of nowhere need priests.

Everyone had to chose between serving God, or serving his own success.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#6

One thing that you should understand. There are parishes that are out in the middle of nowhere. These parishes are smaller, and are filled with caring,God loving Catholics that need a good priest. The CC seems to be recovering from a generation of more liberal thinking bishops and priests, We are seeing new bishops take over diocese and there is a renewed conviction on orthodoxy and tradition. IMHO, this is the future of the CC and what has been lacking for the last 30 years. You may find yourself installed as Pastor of one of these small parishes. They are stepping stones in a way, but never look at them as insignificant. Years ago, a priest would wait 20 years before he became Pastor of a parish. From what you said in your thread, I believe any Parish will welcome you with open arms when you have completed your studies and are ordained. Don't look down on the small parishes though. Look at St. John Vianney!


#7

[quote="laszlo, post:4, topic:242514"]
People in the middle of nowhere need priests.

Everyone had to chose between serving God, or serving his own success.

[/quote]

Very well said.

Peace

Tim


#8

[quote="Spider_Penguin, post:1, topic:242514"]
New to the forum yay :)

But here's the scary part, almost everyone I talk to says that the priest that demands much of his parish, challenges them , addresses hot topic issues and that causes any stress/awareness in his congregation is always moved to the parish in the middle of nowhere!!! :eek: QUOTE]

If it happens just imagine that you are following in the footsteps of John The Baptist, and as it says in Mark 1:3, be the (second) ".... voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." Douay-Rheims Holy Bible.

Protector.

                                      "potius ingenio quam vi"

[/quote]


#9

One of the best Novus Ordo priests in our diocese is in the middle of nowhere (Greenville, TX). He give orthodox homilies, but because he had a passion for Latin, and was known for doing NO in Latin, he was banished to the tiny little town. Well, in that tiny little town he's got a reputation that is so good that people drive all the way from Dallas to see him and experience his reverent and spiritual liturgy.

And, as someone else said, people in the middle of nowhere need priests, too. Solitude is not a bad thing - look how much good that cloistered Carmelite nuns do, and they never leave their convent!


#10

Dear Friend,
Thank you for choosing to dedicat yourself to the service of God in the Priesthood. May you be blessed in this endeavor.

The issues you raise are matters that will require your careful consideration for upon them rest your ability to truly serve God as HE wishes to use you.

You say that you wish to be a good, orthodox priest who challenges his parishoners.

This is an excellent goal - if properly understood - but it is also an narrow road fraught with dangers. Stray too far one way and you become "lukewarm", conforming too much to your parishoners and having little effect. Stray too far the other way and you become a tyrant who is forcing his own prideful brand of holiness on others.

The lukwarm priest might slide through his life with relatively little trouble, but will also have little impact. The "Fire and Brimstone", and "my way or the highway", priest might very well find himself isolated in an out of the way parish or job due to his prideful intransigence.

But I'm sure these are not the type priest you wish to become.

A priest is a shepherd who must lead, but who must also be seen by the flock AS the shepherd who protects them, feeds them, cares for them, and Loves them. Such a priest CAN be quite orthodox and challenging and still be loved, for he puts the Love God gives him into all of his ministry. There are many fine priests who challenge their parishoners but do not browbeat them. They seek to draw their flock toward greater holiness rather than to drive them.

They lead by example as well as by word. They cultivate interpersonal skills and understand the elements of great leadership. They apply these through Love and with Joy and laughter and tears in complete honesty so that their flock is drawn toward God through them. Some understand these things inately while others must cultivate them. But if you wish to become a truly inspiring instrument of God in the ministry he has chosen for you, keep these things in mind. Love above all else, commitment to God and to the care of His (not your) flock, and Humility in all things.

Peace
James


#11

God bless you Spider Penguin and all the young men God is calling...

Pray for more workers coz the harvest is plentiful... I understand you're worried about being tucked away and forgotten due to your orthodoxy. Don't worry, If you become a Priest you'll never be lacking for work, the domestic mission in itself is huge.

Pray for Aust. as well, we are having to stack middle of nowhere dioscies with foreign Priests coz the land is huge and we dont have enough homegrown Priests.

Its only old age which seems to make moderates, young priests usually have masses of energy.........:highprayer:


#12

+:) Heaven's humble . . . wonderful . . . provision . . . *a little donkey . . . *

During the twenty plus years I worked as a church secretary . . . one of the larger churches I worked in was in the midwest . . . and in the office of the senior pastor there was a . . . breathtakingly beautiful *. . . large painting . . . of a vast field of **blue* flowers . . . through which the . . . **Blessed Virgin Mary *. . . *carrying **Jesus** . . . is riding a little donkey . . . and the . . . Blessed St. Joseph . . . is following them in their journey . . .

The European :nun2: nuns . . . through whom our Lord has so graciously and abundantly blessed my life *. . . who so lovingly and consistently lived their daily :nun1: lives in profound and deeply * prayer:gopray2:ful observance of the . . . **Holy Rule of St. Benedict . . . as their way of life . . . have graced my soul with so many wonderful :nun2: lessons . . . not the least of which . . . dealt with the teaching that the constant . . . inward formation ** . . . of the surrendered soul of a child of **God in Christ Jesus . . . such as that of a consecrated nun . . . :nun1: . . . consists . . . in reality . . . of humbly surrendering one's life into the service of our Lady and our Lord . . . **like a *. . . **humble* . . . obedient . . . little donkey. . . who's whole and holy purpose in life is to . . . **carry** . . . our Lady . . . and . . . Jesus . . . our Lord . . . the Blessed Christ . . . whereever **. . . **God takes us in life . . . day by day . . . hour by hour . . . moment by moment . . .

This past year or so two of God's Franciscan servants in our time . . . Mother Angelica *. . . founder of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) . . . *a simple poverty vowed Franciscan Poor Clare :nun1: Nun of Perpetual Adoration ** . . . and a simple humble deacon . . . *Deacon Bill Steltemeier *. . . Chairman of EWTN's Board of Governors . . . were honored by the. . . **Vicar of Christ . . . our Holy Father in Rome . . . Pope Benedict XVI . . . with the extraordinary prestigious . . . Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice Award . . . the . . . Cross of Honor . . . for . . . *"distinguished service to the Church and to the Pope" *. . . may God's sweetest and richest blessings be with them both . . . *(please see link below for more on this story) . . . *

In the records of antiquity . . . it is recorded that just moments before he died the . . . *Blessed St. Francis*** . . . in abject holy humility . . . apologized *. . . *to his little donkey . . . for having to carry his frail body to and fro on so many journeys . . . and that his little donkey . . . bowed his head . . . and . . . **wept **. . . upon receiving the apology . . .

*Link: *ewtn.com/papalhonor/baker-homily.htm

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You **Blessed Jesus**+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy Mother Mary+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy St. Joseph+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy St. Francis+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy St. Benedict+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy Mother Church+[/RIGHT]


#13

[quote="Jesus_123, post:12, topic:242514"]
+:) Heaven's humble . . . wonderful . . . provision . . . *a little donkey . . . *

During the twenty plus years I worked as a church secretary . . . one of the larger churches I worked in was in the midwest . . . and in the office of the senior pastor there was a . . . breathtakingly beautiful *. . . large painting . . . of a vast field of **blue* flowers . . . through which the . . . **Blessed Virgin Mary *. . . *carrying **Jesus** . . . is riding a little donkey . . . and the . . . Blessed St. Joseph . . . is following them in their journey . . .

The European :nun2: nuns . . . through whom our Lord has so graciously and abundantly blessed my life *. . . who so lovingly and consistently lived their daily :nun1: lives in profound and deeply * prayer:gopray2:ful observance of the . . . **Holy Rule of St. Benedict . . . as their way of life . . . have graced my soul with so many wonderful :nun2: lessons . . . not the least of which . . . dealt with the teaching that the constant . . . inward formation ** . . . of the surrendered soul of a child of **God in Christ Jesus . . . such as that of a consecrated nun . . . :nun1: . . . consists . . . in reality . . . of humbly surrendering one's life into the service of our Lady and our Lord . . . **like a *. . . **humble* . . . obedient . . . little donkey. . . who's whole and holy purpose in life is to . . . **carry** . . . our Lady . . . and . . . Jesus . . . our Lord . . . the Blessed Christ . . . whereever **. . . **God takes us in life . . . day by day . . . hour by hour . . . moment by moment . . .

This past year or so two of God's Franciscan servants in our time . . . Mother Angelica *. . . founder of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) . . . *a simple poverty vowed Franciscan Poor Clare :nun1: Nun of Perpetual Adoration ** . . . and a simple humble deacon . . . *Deacon Bill Steltemeier *. . . Chairman of EWTN's Board of Governors . . . were honored by the. . . **Vicar of Christ . . . our Holy Father in Rome . . . Pope Benedict XVI . . . with the extraordinary prestigious . . . Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice Award . . . the . . . Cross of Honor . . . for . . . *"distinguished service to the Church and to the Pope" *. . . may God's sweetest and richest blessings be with them both . . . *(please see link below for more on this story) . . . *

In the records of antiquity . . . it is recorded that just moments before he died the . . . *Blessed St. Francis*** . . . in abject holy humility . . . apologized *. . . *to his little donkey . . . for having to carry his frail body to and fro on so many journeys . . . and that his little donkey . . . bowed his head . . . and . . . **wept **. . . upon receiving the apology . . .

*Link: *ewtn.com/papalhonor/baker-homily.htm

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You **Blessed Jesus**+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy Mother Mary+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy St. Joseph+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy St. Francis+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy St. Benedict+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy Mother Church+[/RIGHT]

[/quote]

Thank you for this wonderful post. That is all He desires from us, to be completely surrendered to His purposes. If He places us in a parish "in the middle of no where" how can we complain?

I am reminded of the priest, who baptized me and received me into the Church. He was a chaplain in a VA hospital. His congregation was composed of the sick and dying with occasionally a few healthy staff members. Every day he was giving the "Anointing of the Sick" to many people with some on their deathbed. At mass most of us were in wheelchairs or on gurneys. He was so kind and thoughtful, and very busy. His homilies were actually as good or better than the ones I hear in my local parish now. I actually enjoyed going to mass better than I do now.

God bless you and the original poster.


#14

I think JRKH stated things well. It's important to remember that being a priest is a political job.

Like any other organization, you'll be the boss of some, others will be the boss of you, and you'll have colleagues at your level. You'll have to prioritize the specific issues you feel are most important and/or most realistic. And then you'll have to win people over to your view. Try to see this complicated political system not as an obstacle to holiness and the Gospel (though it may sometimes be that), but as the very means that God gave you to spread his Gospel and serve him.

That, my friend, is a tough job, and you have my prayers.


#15

Hi Spider!

Welcome to CAF! And congratulations on your decision to become a priest! I'm very happy for you, and God knows we need more priests, so I thank you for your sacrifice for the Church.

[quote="Spider_Penguin, post:1, topic:242514"]
SO WHAT'S THE DEAL? Apparently the idea of moving the orthodox priest to the "middle of nowhere" is mentioned in Catholic media, family, friends and even my RE class.

[/quote]

Bishops will many times use reassignments in this way, but don't let that concern you. Your job is simply to be holy, and then come what may, you have a clean conscience. You should always be humbly obedient to your bishop, and never go against what he tells you. However being a priest isn't about being liked, it's about being a spiritual father, and often times that means telling people things they don't want to hear.

[quote="Spider_Penguin, post:1, topic:242514"]
Will a priest be moved for taking a firm/radically orthodox stance in his faith and translating this stance in his preaching? :shrug:

Is this kind of priest, the kind of priest I want to be only idealistic? :shrug:

Like will I go to the seminary and will they teach me to be moderate in my homilies? :shrug:

[/quote]

Depending on the seminary, you may or may not be pushed to be more moderate. Sometimes seminaries will become over concerned with making the seminarians into likeable personalities, rather than just focus on making them holy men. However, again, that's not really anything you should concern yourself with. Your job is to be obedient, and grow in holiness.

Bottom line, I think you are best served to not really concern yourself with this. Try not to be concerned about what parish you get, how much you are liked in the seminary, or anything like that. Keep your focus on growing in holiness, and the rest will come naturally.

Best of luck! I will say a prayer for you!


#16

I suggest that you get the specifics about each case like this. There may be a lot more going on than you hear about, and it may be different in each case. If you are concerned, get the facts, before you jump to any conclusions.

That said, each diocesan priest must answer to his bishop. And it is political.

If this concerns you, you might consider a religious order. It's a different sort of supervision.

You will always have to answer to someone, whatever you do. It's your decision to determine what kind of supervision you want.


#17

[quote="Digitonomy, post:14, topic:242514"]
I think JRKH stated things well. It's important to remember that being a priest is a political job.

Like any other organization, you'll be the boss of some, others will be the boss of you, and you'll have colleagues at your level. You'll have to prioritize the specific issues you feel are most important and/or most realistic. And then you'll have to win people over to your view. Try to see this complicated political system not as an obstacle to holiness and the Gospel (though it may sometimes be that), but as the very means that God gave you to spread his Gospel and serve him.

That, my friend, is a tough job, and you have my prayers.

[/quote]

While I see your point here, I really was not thinking in terms of "politics" which I think carries negative connotations for many. I was thinking more in line with "diplomacy". Less about compromise and more about consensus building. :thumbsup:

I absolutely agree with prioritizing and since all must stem from Love, that is the best measuring stick around.

Peace
James


#18

Well thanks for all the replies!

I guess my post might have put off the perception that I was concerned with the political implications of the priesthood, but I can assure you that it was the spiritual implications that drove me to consider the priesthood and the spiritual implications that will drive me to carry out the priesthood likewise. In fact, the only concerns (minimal at that) I have left about the priesthood are on these kind of topics concerning the "politics" of it all.

I didn't mean to say that parishes in the middle of nowhere are bad! I just felt like the parish in the suburbs filled with soccer moms and the such who show up to mass on the basis of habit (My Parish!) might need a more conservative voice to convince them of their true priorities. I get the idea that an orthodox priest in a small rural parish might find himself "preaching to the choir" :D but I guess the best way to approach this is to grow in holiness, be the best priest I can be (and I understand the definition of one),.and trust in the bishop.

Also, our bishop worries me, at out confirmation mass he spent all the readings just messing around and trying out his "hat" and maybe that's the root of all my worry ;)

BTW how often does a priest engage in dialogue with the bishop?


#19

LOL!:D I know you are young, but remember when you are dealing with "soccer moms", that many of them will be highly educated and won't necessarily deal well with someone who comes in and starts barking at them!! The priests at my huge Jesuit parish all have doctorates of theology from Vatican universities in Rome and were taught how to give awesome homolies that take the specific day's gospel into account and weave it into living your life as close to Jesus as you can. Fire and brimstone are needed by orators who know their "business". When you get to graduate school, you will understand the difference between professors who make you think and those who just lecture. I'll be praying for your vocation.


#20

God bless you on your journey!

Don't foget that St John Vianney was sent in the middle of nowhere, and look what happened to him!

But it is true that when priests cause too much confrontation, they are punished to the ends of the diocese. That fact is apparent here and told to me by priests...

All the more for great holiness..................:D:thumbsup:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.