Priesthood and Community More thoughts on the road less traveled by Father Stefan

Why Priests need community?

I was listening to a talk by a brother priest from another country and he said, “We believe the effectiveness of our ministry flows from the quality of our relationship.” How true.

Community is as vital to ministry as air is to breath. The trinity is an image of the perfect community. The son’s mission flows from this perfect community in the Trinity and flows back to it. This is also an image also of the church. Our personal ministry flows from and back to the church. Almost like a wave’s circular motion in the ocean.

Why do priests need community?

I was having lunch with a fellow priest and he was telling me about his first pastor. He related how his pastor on his days off would drive 3 hours in one direction, and turn around and drive home because he had no where to go on his days off.

Why do priests need community?

Well we all need community. We all need to talk and be understood by another. For a married couple their spouse is meant to be the person that they talk to about their most personal stuff.

In the age of emotional boundaries there is always the question what is appropriate and what is inappropriate to discuss with a layperson? Some priests might be able to find a way but it is fraught with dangers.

All of this begs the issue if a priest lives alone? What is he to do? I feel many priests think there is no one to talk to in a safe way and in many cases I think they are right.

We priests, and all members of the church need to foster better community among it priests.

It almost seems so obvious that priests need to live in community.


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