Further reflection on priestly fraternity community and being alone.
One of the realities in the church today is that many priests live alone. One of the things that I will do is first show some of the difficulties that exist in the church today regarding priests and community, than hopefully shine some light on a way to help create greater community among priests.
And as we know from many the experiences that we can gain from many marriage is that it is also possible to live with another person and be alone.
I was talking to a priest friend in New Jersey Tuesday and he was telling me about going to his first assignment. The pastor showed him his room on the top floor of the house. My friend noticed that there was an empty room next to the pastor suite. My friend said to him, “why don’t I live here.” The Pastor responded to him,” now don’t go thing that I will want to spend any time with you.”
I was talking to a husband and wife the other day and I asked him, “If it wasn’t for your wife how often would you go out for social events?” His answer was, “I would mostly if not entirely stay at home.”
How many husbands need their wives to help them get out of the house and go see the family, call their mother etc? Well priests are taken from among men, and many of us are like this husband but we don’t have someone to encourage us to get out. So there is a temptation among many priests to keep to themselves.
Priests like husband need someone to help them to get out and be social. If you have not noticed most priests are introverts.
A priest needs his brother priests to help him. Priests need other priest. A priest primary community is other priests.
Again one of the realities in the church today is a parish without a priest.
One of the things that John Paul II said was in such situation of a parish without a priest, which means a parish without the Eucharist. John Paul II talked a liturgy without the Eucharist but this is not ideal. The Community seeks to have the Eucharist and will not be whole until it has the Eucharist.
The same is true for priests who live alone. They often wait in hope for the day when they can have priestly community.
Some random thoughts on community