Having doubts about my priest.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Having doubts about my priest.....
8
Wed, 07-21-2004 - 9:05am
I really liked our priest when he first was appointed to our church, but lately I have been seeing him in a different light and for some reason I don't seem to think as highly of him as I once did. He is not involved in the school like I feel he should be, example, we had a Christmas program the kids worked really hard on and he refused to attend because it was his "day off". I found this very unsettling. He also doesn't try to push for more families to send their children to the parish school he is fine with them attending CCD. I attended a MOM'S group over the spring and when we had our dinner, he was in the church I seen him walking around, he didn't even come in and say our prayer with us, he had been asked but declined. But if there is money to be made for the church he is right there. We are trying to add onto the church, and he wants the parish to bring in 10 million dollars! I find that and outragous amount of money and think that it can be done for alot less. He has sent my dh and I a letter asking us to become part of the commity and I am not sure I really want to do this. I know in the long run the bill will be paid by us that send our children to the school which in itself is sad because the whole church will gain by this improvement, but am starting to feel tapped out! I am even considering switching parishs because of the amounts of money we are constantly asked to give. Am I wrong for feeling this way? I mean we give what we can give, but they seem to always want more. You can't get blood from a turnip no matter how hard you squeeze it and we are pretty squeeze. Any suggestions on how to get by this so I don't feel guilty for feeling this way?

TIA

Jan

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Thu, 07-22-2004 - 2:31am

I know the feeling Jan.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 07-22-2004 - 8:54am
Thanks Kimberly. This is hard for me because this is a great community of people and it is just the feeling of wanting that is coming from the priest that is getting me. We collect on average 30,000 a weekend sometimes more. Don't get me wrong the priest is personable and the kids love him, when he pays attention to them, but you can just see that if your not one of the main contributors to the church he doesn't seem intersted in you. He will talk to you and is a nice man but when the people whom he hob nobs with come around you are excused immediately and that is that. Sad really. Maybe I am just feeling jealous that he does this, I don't know. All I know is that I do not remember the priest I grew up with being this way. If I do switch I will attend either the parish my parents attend or switch to the sister church of the school. We have two campuses and I will just go there. The other priest is actually interested in the school and the children and attend what ever he can it is nice.

So sorry to hear about your mom's priest. I will keep him in my prayers. The priest that married dh and I died several years ago at a very young age, middle thirties, and he was the best priest/person in the world. I miss him I loved hearing him on Sundays.

Jan

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
Mon, 07-26-2004 - 2:32pm
You could be talking about the pastor that just left our parish after 12 years. Almost the whole time I was involved in the school. What I did was, evaluate what I felt about the school and the parish as a whole. I loved the school, my dh and I sent our 3 children there, and the people of the parish are great. I decided that I liked the parish and I would be here long after he left, so we made a commitment to the school/parish. I became involved in the school, eventually being the president of the Mothers Club for 4 years. I made sure every dime we earned as an organization went right back into the school - and we earned nearly $20,000.00 every school year through our fundraising efforts. The women who run it now are keeping up that work. Our parish is by some standards a poorer one. But people do give what they can and especially of their time. Unfortunately, this pastor did not appreciate that as much as he should have and would constantly bring up how expensive it is to run a parish. It drove some good people away.

In our archdiocese a few years ago, a process was started that would improve and update the various parishes. We were one of the first parishes chosen for this. People pledged to give extra money to the parish for improvements and it was parish wide. So perhaps the burden at your church would be shared more than you think. I would recommend that before you leave, you figure out how you feel about the parish and school as a whole, and if you like everything but the priest, I would advise you to stay and figure out a way that you can influence those areas important to you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 07-27-2004 - 12:08pm
Thank you so much for your response. I love the parish as a whole, but going to church just seems to be a struggle. I do not enjoy going to church anymore at all. I attended mass with my sister over the weekend and loved the mass. They have a younger priest and he was actually fun. It was the first time my sister had heard mass by this priest as he is fairly new. He made it fun to listen to him. Unfortunately my sister live 2 hours away in Ohio so I can't make her church and option even if I were going to leave.

Our church is starting something like you are talking about and I am kinda leary of it. Maybe because I know this priest will use the money mostly for the parish not the school and then the school families will end up footing the bills, like the building of a bigger school which we are trying to do. I do have one question for you. How does you parish handle tuition? Ours is working to make it 60/40 right now. Which makes it hard on us to keep our kids in the school. I know several families that are opting out of sending their children to parocial school because of the cost, and they were raise in a parocial school and want to send their children to it. I guess I am to the point of feeling that they are letting the children down but making it harder for them to attend the school and in turn learn less of their religion, I attended CCD classes and feel like I know hardly anything about the church and it teachings. Ok now I am rambling and probably boring you. Thanks again for your imput it was greatly appriciated.

Jan

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Tue, 07-27-2004 - 9:15pm
Butting in to say that our school is co-owned by 2 church parishes. Giving to the church and school tuition are 2 totally separate things here.

Tuition is about $3000 per kid, and there are a few other fees and donations added in (capital improvments and their annual drive). That would stay in the school budget. The pastor of one of the parishes is the school chancellor and he oversees things, but there is also a school board to advise him. As far as I know the parishes don't contribute any finances to the school and the school doesn't contribute finances to the parishes.

And on the subject of learning religion - I went 9 years to a Catholic school, and I doubt I learned much more than you did in CCD classes. Plus I went to CCD for 4 years in HS. Fortunately, the religion curriculum seems to have improved a great deal. I've learned things from my kids' religion classes (and studying with them for tests). They finished 1st and 2nd grade last year, so you know they've got to be learning a lot more than I ever did.

You could also homeschool religion.

My 2 cents.

Karen

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

Avatar for ruthv
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-28-2004 - 12:32pm
Just thought I'd add that I went to Parochial school from K through HS (attended Catholic college too) in the "olden days". This was 1950 through about 1966. Our religion class was memorizing answers to the questions from the Baltimore Catechism....it was all rote. My faith life developed as a young adult and then grew from there. That has to do more with a personal relationship with God and is not taught in a religion or CCD class. It IS CAUGHT - more than taught. Check out some Adult Religious Ed opportunities in your parish or diocese. I just wanted to clarify that "religion classes/CCD" aren't meant to be the sum total of our spiritual life for the rest of our lives. Faith is a growth process that is suppose to continue throughout our lives and we can continue to learn and grow right alongside our kids. We as parents are meant to be our children's primary teachers of the faith, even when they attend Relgious Ed. classes or parochial schools.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2004
Mon, 08-02-2004 - 3:16pm
Hi Everyone:


Its happening at our church too. Boy, it sounds almost like you are probably in our parish! My feeling the school would benefit more if there were more priests and nuns teaching like it use to be and the cost of tuition would be less. Alot less. But with the shortage, lay people as teachers cost more. We have two new buildings in our school, tuition goes up every year, our pastor mingles with the aristocrats to get money. Sometimes, I really think they should post the profit and loss in a sunday bulletin and ask the parish and parents to help. Not just with money, but with their time. Not everyone is a lawyer or a doctor, but a gardener would sure come in handy to reduce the landscaping bill! I know all this sounds simplistic, but sometimes the answer to a huge problem can be a simple one. I understand your frustration. It sure isn't like it was when I was in catholic school.

good luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Tue, 08-03-2004 - 8:31am

<<>>


Some of the parishes around here have started doing just that.

"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." - Thomas Jeff