Monday, January 12, 2009

New Priest in our parish...

...and (on first impressions) we like him.

His homilies are brief, pithy and pointed - ending with a question which intends to offer a challenge to the listeners. I have heard three homilies so far and Jesus has figured centrally in each of them (this is not always to be taken for granted these days). Mass is said well (no chanting has emerged as yet) and according to the book, although since he is Polish (belonging to the Resurrection Fathers), he has quite a strong accent that some will find difficult at first (I grew up with a Russian-born German pastor so the accent doesn't faze me). He has an peculiar way of pronouncing "Benedict" which puts the stress on the second syllable - try it out!

He also has a good sense of humour ("he smiles" - said one parishioner behind me at mass). After mass on Sunday he said that when he first arrived in Australia he was told by another priest never to say (while reading the notices at the end of mass) "and finally..." because that would be the signal for the people to reach for their car keys and start heading for the door.

"In fact", he said, "I have found that that this is not true. By the time you are reading the notices they are already in the car heading out the driveway." (Laughter).

He went on to say that it was his practice to begin mass exactly on time so that it would end on time so that there would be no need for anyone to leave before the final blessing.

There was an added (gentle) rebuke in that announcement: Mass routinely begins at our "mass centre" (the kid's school hall) 5 to 10 minutes late because people are still setting up and chatting. Which suited us on Sunday because we were running late...

RE the old problem of "change" he straight away re-assured folks "Do not be afraid that I am going to make changes. We will keep on doing things the way we are, and nothing will be changed if it is working."

Again, he was giving gentle reassurance - behind which one is still able to detect an intention to find out what "is working" and what is not.

It is an exciting time for our parish. As Maddy said, we have had three different priests since she started school there. One is aware at times like this and in times like this that just having a parish priest is something for which we should be greatly grateful.

7 Comments:

At Monday, January 12, 2009 3:59:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

I'll bet the call committee is happier than hell things are working out so well so far.

 
At Monday, January 12, 2009 4:08:00 pm , Blogger Joshua said...

PE,

What's a call committee?

Recall that Catholic parishes don't choose their own parish priests - the Bishop does that.

******

David,

Most of these Polish priests are very good (a friend spent some time with another Polish group called the Salvatorians, and there are also Michaelites, etc.).

Hope it all turns out well!

 
At Monday, January 12, 2009 5:15:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Um, I recall. That's why I said what I said. Outside Catholicism this is called a joke, a collision between the expected and the unexpected provoking laughter.

 
At Tuesday, January 13, 2009 4:13:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

The system works better without the call committee.

a) Its faster. I know Lutheran parishes that were calling for almost a year before they got an acceptance.

b) There is always someone outside the parish to blame if it all goes wrong and ends in tears (ie. the Bishop).

 
At Wednesday, January 14, 2009 3:12:00 am , Blogger Past Elder said...

Judas at a Voters' Meeting, surely YOU know I was just having some fun!

 
At Wednesday, January 14, 2009 10:24:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

Yes, PE, as always.

 
At Thursday, January 15, 2009 4:42:00 am , Blogger Miss Monification said...

Oh oh! I KNOW him! He was our Assistant Parish Priest for years. He is a really lovely man. I am so glad that he has gone somewhere where there is someone like you to look after him!

xx Mon

 

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