Rorate Caeli

It's hard being a priest these days!

It's hard! ... It's hard being a pastor these days!... Being a parish priest nowadays is like squaring the circle!

Some of us have the luck of living in a parish with a resident priest, ready to meet us when we ask for it - and according to his availability, of course!... But are we sure that we have never had (or said aloud) even one of these thoughts?

If he preaches for over ten minutes... He never ends!

If he speaks of the contemplation of God... He's delusional!

If he mentions social issues... He's turning to the left!

If he is doing some outside work... It's because he's got nothing to do!

If he remains in the parish... He is cut off from the world!

Forgive us, Lord, for our ingratitude, may You be praised for the priest You have given us, bless our priest and have mercy on our critical demeanor.

If he baptizes and marries everyone... He cheapens the Sacraments!

If he becomes more demanding... He wants a Church only for the "pure"!

If he remains in the rectory... He won't see anyone!

If he pays visits... He's never in the rectory!

Forgive us, Lord, for our "consumer spirit", may You be praised for the priest You have given us, may our priest be blessed, and have mercy on us for our selfishness regarding the one who gives up his life for You in order to open heaven for us.

If he's popular with kids... His religion is childish!

If he does construction work in the church... He's throwing money away!

If he does nothing... He's letting everything ruin!

If he collaborates with the laity... He's being led by the leash!

If he doesn't... He's too authoritarian!

Forgive us, Lord, for our malicious thoughts, may You be praised for the priest you have given us, bless our priest and have mercy on us for our lack of charity for the one who sanctifies our souls by giving us the Eucharist.

If he has an easy smile... He's too close!

If, distracted or concerned, he has not greeted someone... He's too distant!

If he's young... He's got no experience!

If he's aged... He should retire!

Forgive us, Lord, for our mediocre and narrow thoughts, may You be praised for the priest you have given us, bless our priest and have mercy on us for our lack of compassion, affection, support for the one who has need of these things, because he is a man like us, but so precious for all the Sacraments only he can provide.


Father and Master of the harvest, raise among us men who will choose to live for You and at the service of their brethren, by annoucing your Word, by celebrating the Mysteries of Salvation, and by uniting your people. We pray to you for all the priests and we thank you for those you have given us. Bless them, and make their work fruitful.

Our Lord, by the action of the Holy Spirit, make your appeal heard today in the Church. That each one of the baptized finds joy in serving You for the glory of the Father and the salvation of the world. Amen.

Guy de Kérimel, Bishop of Grenoble-Vienne. 
[Translated and adapted; tip: Le Forum Catholique]


Anonymous said...

Love it!!! And so true!

Ben Vallejo said...

If you see a priest with a beautiful woman, people think that he has violated his vows.

Poor Father, even a beautiful woman has a need to see a priest and to be seen with a priest!

shane said...


Just another mad Catholic said...

Well here is one youngish (23) Catholic man who would love to be a Holy Priest one day, unfortunatly the Bishops in the UK are quite liberal and the local FSSP superior wouldn't even talk to me on the subject. If anyone knows a good Priestly Society (secular or religious) that is on the lookout for Orthodox, enthusiastic and pious young men, please give me a shout.

Anonymous said...

If he's preaching false doctrine... he's a heretic!

Sometimes such concerns are true.

Tom Esteban said...

Just another mad Catholic,

I pray God will let His will be known to you! As a starting point I suggest you make up your mind :-P Priesthood and Religious life are two different callings - figure out which is the one God is calling you to! There are tons of great, orthodox Religious congregations. Similarly there are a few great secular priesthood societies/fraternities (i.e. ICKSP/FSSP)

God Bless you.

Jack said...

Beautifully put.

Frogger said...

Maybe people in the N.O. have these sentiments but I've never come across any well meaning Catholic, traditional or otherwise, who holds to any of these sentiments.

Cunjo said...

@mad Catholic
Be persistent about Rita was rejected three times. St. Joseph of Cupertino was also rejected. Many other saints were rejected by superiors and they eventually ended up in that very monastery that rejected them and they became holy.

Try more. +

Anonymous said...

I see the point you're making here of course but in the NO Church, when I see 15 eucharistic ministers and the priest giving the holy body of our Lord to people to deliver to the sick and homebound and priests visibly annoyed when I choose to receive the holy body of our Lord on the tongue, all these complaints are minor nitpicks which indeed mean nothing because they're not even getting the BASIC blocking and tackling done.

Knight of Malta said...

"Just another mad Catholic"

Why not look into the FSSPX? Even the Vatican has admitted that they are valid priests; and, with what is transpiring, vis-a-vis the discussions with Rome, one can say that Priests and Nuns behave rightly entering their orders!

Anonymous said...

In case any Institute priests are reading this: I thank God for you.

All the ones I have met have beautiful souls.

If it seems that you are so little appreciated, know that there are some like me who thank God for your ministry and who wish to support you in anyway possible.

I think that were I under the care of FSSP priests, or FSSPX, I would feel the same way. A good priest is a treasure from the hands of our Lady. Let us esteem them.

Anonymous said...

I love the shot of Don Camillo!

JAMC, have you considered the SSPX?

Ben Vallejo, unfortunately, there are a number of priests nowadays who when seen with a woman (or a man) are rightfully suspected of having broken their vows. Nothing wrong with questioning Father about the woman he is seen with, and particularly if he tends to be seen in civvies. We need more of that kind of interrogation - tends to help our priests keep their vows in this age of temptation.

Jordanes551 said...

Priesthood and Religious life are two different callings - figure out which is the one God is calling you to!

Sometimes God calls someone to both vocations. This is why the Church has so many religious priests.

Jay said...

Reading this post I was thinking with admiration: 'what a great wit New Catholic has!!' But at the end, seeing who is the author, I feel like saying big 'thank you' New Catholic for finding and posting it, this is excellent.

Tom Esteban said...


I'm no priest, nor religious (yet) but the fact is that they are two separate callings for the purposes of discernment. Within the Religious life it is your superior who discerns for you if you are to be a priest, serving the community as a priest. Perhaps the exception is the Jesuits and Dominicans where the two go almost hand in hand but the focus is still on religious life.

A call to the priesthood is to say the Mass, hear confessions and shepherd a flock. A call to the religious life is to live as a consecrated layman, to serve God with his/her gifts (which could be monastic or mendicant or missionary etc) and to live more often than not in community.

For discernment purposes, it makes no sense to direct someone to religious life so that they can be ordained as a priest. Tell a religious superior you want to be a Franciscan so you can be ordained. He will turn you away and give you directions to the seminary the second you've finished your sentence. Franciscans are chosen by the superior to be ordained and they obey. My own local friary has 3 priests, 1 of whom never wanted to be ordained but being a religious he had to obey.

In any case, all the best to JAMC - whatever God is calling him to I pray he listens with an open heart and says yes to God. We need good, holy orthodox priests and religious.

Anonymous said...

How about not complaining and just living the life Holy Mother Church asks you to live, and which you have freely choosen. The Holy Father is attacked daily and I don't hear him complaining. The old time priests were strong masculine men today that dosen't exist and that's 99.9% of the problem with clergy today. Just do your job and stop moaning

HSE said...

The priesthood is not a job, but a God-given vocation . . . you don't punch in and punch out. It has responsibility 24/7.

The collar is always ON! This doesn't mean that priests don't get a vacation; it merely means that priests don't get a vacation from their vocation. (Ask any mother how this works . . .)

Thank you to the many priests who give tirelessly of their time to SAVE SOULS. They are the ones who have a clear understanding of the grave responsibility.

Card. del Val said...

Spot on! The sanctimonious you will always have with you... or at least until they find another place to be holier than thou!

Long-Skirts said...

Guy de Kérimel, Bishop of Grenoble-Vienne said:

"We pray to you for all the priests and we thank you for those you have given us. Bless them, and make their work fruitful."

For all the truly holy and good Catholic Priests may your Reward be great!!


In the fifth,
Two thousand six
Melts the wax
Of candle sticks.

May moon full
Begins to wane
Shadows race
Across the plain

Reaching gulfs
The ocean tides
Break on beach
Where pride presides.

Cassocked in
The thickest fog
Plodding cross
The marshy bog.

Maddening moons
Through the fire ---
Near the depths
He wends on higher.

Many years
Breviary tattered
Deep in mists
His strength unshattered.

'Gainst black storms
Wet linen heavy
Soul after soul...
Gives his life for each bevy.

And when he is called
Because souls really mattered ---
He will enter Reward
With his breviary battered.

Viva Cristo Rey!!!