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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What do you want in a Pastor?

Have you every thought about this question?

I can't say that I have thought too much about it, although I imagine all of us frequent church-goers have an idea of what makes a good one and what does not. We all can list traits that we wouldn't want, right?

Hmm, I'm going to have to think about this and keep adding or making changes to this list.

  1. I want him to love the liturgy and express that by making each Mass sacred and full of the mystery that should be there. I want him to respect rubrics and not to reshape the liturgy.
  2. In loving the liturgy, he'd have to love music and care about the music ministry and making it as reverent as possible with lots of Latin and Gregorian Chant and no contemporary music or inappropriate instruments like the tambourine or drum set.
  3. I would love a priest who suggests confession to his parishioners more than once a year and made if available several times a week. I want to hear it from the pulpit and I want to hear him advising it to people when they speak to him about their concerns in general.
  4. I want a priest who stresses that big families are good that they should bring them to church. I want him to encourage NFP.
  5. I want him to be strict during Mass and expect nothing but the utmost respect and reverence from parishioners. I want him to reprimand those that need it.
  6. I want him to respect sacramentals and the prayers in the Ritual. To have holy water and blessed salt available to parishioners and be willing and ready to bless sacramentals with the appropriate prayers that are said for different items.
  7. I want him to ignore a bit of crying from babies but at some point expect the parents to take the child(ren) out when they are disrupting the service.
  8. I want him to tell parishioners to leave their cell phones out of the sanctuary. God is calling them for 1 hour (or 80 minutes) and they either make the commitment or they don't.
  9. I want him to be available to visit with families to attend dinners and host them at the rectory for the elderly, families, and young adults.
  10. I want him to read everything the popes have written and to encourage others to do the same. I want him to recommend good books that every catholic should read.
  11. I want him to catechize! To host seminars for the diocese and to make sure we know why we are catholic.
  12. I want him to offer a Traditional Latin Mass at least once a month or maybe each week or find a priest who would come to do it for him.
  13. I would love for him to be a good homilist. It doesn't have to be long, just make a point and evolve from it! Respect for the readings and honing in on them would be prevalent. I detest it when priests give a homily that has nothing to do with the readings. Even current events can be brought into a homily properly with many of the readings. I would want him to do the homilies 3 out of 4 weeks each month and not expect the deacons to do most of the homilies.
  14. I want loads of (reverent, liturgy-loving, respectful) deacons and acolytes and lots of servers. I prefer all boys but Pope JPII made it okay for girls so I'm not offended when I see them. But I do yearn for the aspect of the server as a introduction to the priesthood.
  15. I would want him to have a strong prayer life and be an example to his parish by praying with them not only at Mass but in their homes, in the chapel and so forth.
  16. I do not have a problem with a priest stressing the importance of tithing and I encourage it. Many people don't even know what is expected of them and good catechesis would solve this. But when the parish is in need, the priest should speak and ask for more from his flock.
  17. More than one would be a blessing and a benefit to all. It would be nice to have a retired priest on hand to rotate through daily Mass, help out with confessions and overall be a part of pastoral care.
Whew, that is a long list. Maybe I am asking too much from a single man but one can dream, right?

Most of those who know me know that one or two priests already fit most of these tickets. I have been blessed to know many good priests who have set an example for me to expect.

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