Sunday, December 28, 2008

Serving Short-Handed U.S. Parishes, Fathers Without Borders

Laurie Goodstein in today's New York Times with the first in a three-part series called "Divine Recruits" on foreign priests coming to serve in American parishes.

See International priests, sisters are a blessing

3 comments:

  1. aquinas2:49 PM

    Interesting. Though we could have had a foreign associate pastor, our pastor decided, after having interviewed him, to forgo having the (necessary) help. The public face painted on the thing was that the foreign priest would have been a "bad fit" for this suburban parish. A more accurate assessment, given some of the pastor's prior conversations, suggests more than a little racism.

    Sad. For all the talk of diversity (particularly as it applies to wacky liturgical and political strategies), when it comes right down to cases, it isn't going to happen under this pastor's watch. He'd rather play the victim card (unsuccessfully) as the poor, overworked pastor than have to deal with an eager and orthodox associate, despite some cultural differences. (Doesn't "Catholic" transcend these ultimately unimportant cultural differences anyway?)

    Additionally, Rembert, during his tenure, often said that the foreign priest strategy "doesn't work." Apparently, his priests got the message.

    I must say that I'm becoming really impatient for this whole generation of middle- to late middle-aged priests to head into retirement. The younger guys, and, especially, the very recently ordained give me great hope. And not simply because they seem to be giving the older guys fits for their "annoying devotionalism" and their tendency to "take us to a different era."

    Funny how solid orthodoxy makes 70s enthusiasms look so tired, dated, and unworkable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "I must say that I'm becoming really impatient for this whole generation of middle- to late middle-aged priests to head into retirement."

    Careful, Aquinas, Might it not turn out that with a different kind of priest we will miss the days of lukewarm breezes blowing over us in the spiritual hammock that a suburban parish can be?

    ReplyDelete
  3. You could ask the members of St Mary's/Elm Grove, Terry.

    They will be losing a very good priest in June...

    ReplyDelete