St. Mary Catholic Community

Browsing What the Faith: A Layperson's view of our church

Who takes care of our priests?

Jul 23, 2018

Our priests take care of us, but who takes care of them?

As children, we take for granted that our parents will always be there to take care of whatever needs we have. It does not register until we are much older that someday they may rely on us the same way.  As newlyweds, the idea is to grow old together, and not have to be a caretaker for the other.  It can come as a surprise if the need arises where you have to be the one taking care of your spouse. 

But sometimes we do need to let our parents know they can rely on us or we do have to be the care-taker for our spouses. Hopefully when this happens, these things are done with love and support and not resentment and anger. 

Our priests have taken on the title of “Father” for us. As our spiritual father(s), are we taking for granted that they will always be there when we need them,  that they will always be happy to see us, and will always have time when we need them to?   They have taken the church as their bride to grow old with. Does the church (by church I mean the universal church which is all of us) assume we will just grow old together and they will not need a caretaker? 

These men, who have dedicated their lives to serve Christ through His church, need our care and support. As humans, they need the same attention that we do.  Here are some suggestions to help your priest know he is supported, cared for, and loved.

  • Take him out for a meal, or invite him to your home for a family meal.
  • Remember him on holidays – he may not have family in the area to spend these days with.
  • Have “regular” conversations with him, he likes to talk about things other than church.
  • If he is in a care facility, go visit him – he may not have family in the area.
  • Do not put him on a pedestal.  He is human and susceptible to all the same temptations and sins we are.
  • Please be considerate when he takes a day off or a vacation, he needs a break sometimes too.
  • Always, always remember all our priests in your prayers. 

One great example of this occurred this weekend at St. Mary’s. Our pastor, Fr. John Worster, mentioned in casual conversation that he was going to order a chalice because he didn’t have one of his own.  I was surprised, as I assumed that this was something given to priests when they were ordained, but then again, that’s what I get for assuming something.    Our parish has been very lucky in that we have two very active priests working for us in Fr. John and Fr. Jesus Camacho.  When something like this is brought to our attention, we need to really listen and act on it.  With the advice and help of staff and the Development and Finance Council, a chalice was ordered.  It finally arrived, engraved with Fr. John’s name, the name of our church and the year so Fr. John will know he is wanted and very much appreciated.  At the time I am writing this, it is still a surprise – he has no idea he is going to be given a gift after mass on Saturday. 

Before a chalice can be used as a vessel, it has to be blessed. Monsignor Joseph daSilva blessed the cup and paten on the altar at the Chancery Chapel.  I would like to end this writing with that beautiful prayer of blessing. 

 

Blessing Prayer for Cup and Paten 

Lord,

with joy we place on your altar                                                    

this cup and this paten,

vessels with which we will celebrate

the sacrifice of Christ’s new covenant.

 

May they be sanctified,

for in them the body and blood of Christ

will be offered, consecrated, and received.

 

Lord,

when we celebrate Christ’s faultless sacrifice on earth,

may we be renewed in strength

and filled with your spirit,

until we join with your saints

at your table in heaven

 

Glory and honor be yours for ever and ever.

 

R:/ Blessed be God for ever.

 

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