Monday, April 2, 2012

Father, I know you're busy, but....

Some people claim that for their pastors and priests, Holy Week is the BUSIEST WEEK EVER. Maybe so. I admit, it can be a bit frustrating for me for the following reasons:
"A problem? Here's my "Give A Damn" box, Timmy. As you can see, it is empty."
1. The office closes on Thursday which essentially kills most of the week so everything has to be done by Wednesday afternoon. Compounded by many priests going to the Chrism Mass on Tuesdays (in many dioceses) makes it like a 2 1/2 day week.
2. Life closes on Wednesday afternoon as well, especially in a University town. So it's hard to catch up with people and get information across. What with the internets and the cellular phones and all, you'd think that's not hard but...it is.
And finally, the Holy Week Madness. Here are a few things that happen during Holy Week that makes it tough for priests and parish staff. So read and be enlightened.
A. When you have a "quick question", think long and hard if there is a satisfying "quick answer" before you call, drop in, and email it. And does the answer have to be in this week?
Fr. O'Byrne had to find a quiet spot to write his Easter Homily.
B. Before you drop in for a "quick confession", call. Please. Or at least check the bulletin or website. Ours is www.stjohnoxford.org. It's all on there. I humbly ask that you read before you call or email me that "I couldn't find it on the website". Because, it's on there. And a pdf of the bulletin. Seriously. Check.
C. If you're helping with Holy Week services or in the RCIA, simply keep up with your instructions, show up on time and don't sweat it. The Church has done this for a few years so it will work out fine. Really, don't freak out and don't freak us out.
D. When you want to start your sentence by saying, "Father, I know you're busy", don't follow it with a "but". Because we're really not too busy for emergencies or our people. WE LOVE YOU! But if your failure to plan is expected to be our crisis, it probably won't happen. So if you've put off say..ohhhh..and annulment and then decided you need to get that done in a couple days, I'm telling you. It won't happen. Despite the rumors, not all the scotch, steak, golf and hundred dollar bills in the world will get you one in a week. Or a real one, that is.
EXCEPTION:
Never, ever assume a priest is too busy to do what we're called to do: anoint, visit the dying, attend to the suffering and so on. We're never too busy for that.
E. Pray for your priests. Especially for me. I mean, really, who writes this sort of thing on Holy Week? Who?

A priest in need of prayer, that's who!