Reflections on Community Priests and being alone
One if the things that hits me every time I visit Fr Sam my spiritual director. Fr Sam is the spiritual director of the retreat center in the diocese. For much of his time here he has lived alone at the retreat center but he has always felt connected to his brother Franciscan priests. When a brother Franciscan priest would be in the area they would go out of their way to visit him even if they didn’t know him because he was a brother Franciscan.
I am a diocesan priest, hopefully with a Franciscan heart. I wonder if we feel the same way as diocesan priest? I wonder if diocesan priest feel the same way about each other?
If I was driving past the rectory at a neighboring church would I be inclined to stop by the rectory and say hello? Would my fellow diocesan priest feel inclined to stop the car and visit me?
Isn’t it true that if I am driving to Chicago I will stop by my cousin house and say hello. There is a family bond.
Question, is the clue that keep religious priests together as strong as the glue that keep diocesan priests together?
I am asking you to look at the diocesan priesthood in a new way. So often as diocesan priests we stress the individual parish as our kingdom. So a neighboring parish might as well be a foreign country.
We should consider as diocesan priests as having a mutual bond that is as strong as the bond that keep two religious priests together.
This bond is that we all serve the same diocese under one bishop. That we ought to see our parishes as less separate kingdoms and part of the same mission under one bishop. And that as diocesan priests we ought to have a bond which is as strong as the bond in a religious order.
Question of day; why do religious priests have a bond that connects them that is stronger than the bond that connects diocesan priests?
Fr Stefan figuring it out