Jun
10

Christian Priesthood and Ecclesial Unity

as-panto

Some Theological and Canonical Considerations by Professor Contantine Scouteris School of Theology of the University of Athens 1. The records of the early Christian tradition leave no doubt that Christian priesthood is not a "function" necessary for the institutional being of the Church. Nor is it an autonomous, isolated and self sufficient office belonging to the ordained individual. It is rather a ministry related and belonging Read more…

Apr
16

Survey Results: Observations and Advice for New Priests

61336321

We are coming up on graduation day for our seminaries, so I fielded a survey to gather the collective wisdom of priests to share with our new graduates and ordinands. These sets of “five things” are offered with thanks to the priests who answered the survey and prayers for all our clergy.  It's a beautiful and blessed - but often incredibly difficult - life. Five Things that Surprised Us in Parish Ministry Worldly Behavior. Read more…

Mar
24

The Meekness of a Spiritual Father

st__gregory_the_great_icon_by_theophilia

By Fr. Joseph Gleason From The Orthodox Life (21 March 2015) St. Gregory the Great says that a spiritual father should be gentle and meek. If he reproves a person who unintentionally sinned, this is especially true. If a person has malice, and has sinned willfully, that is a different story. But if a person has sinned out of “ignorance or infirmity”, then the priest is duty-bound to be very gentle when offering correction. St. Read more…

Mar
18

7 Things the Church Can’t Do for the Pastor

A 19th century Georgian Orthodox priest's family.  From  The Georgian Association for the History of Photography in the Caucasus

By Ron Edmondson (March 2015) at RE RonEdmondson; thoughts on leadership, church and culture Pastor, there are some things your church can’t do for you. They simply can’t. Please understand. I love the church. Greatly. I’m a local church guy. But, they simply can’t do these things for you. And, if you think they can, or you leave it up to them to do these things, you’ll someday find out the hard way — they can’t. I’ve Read more…

Dec
05

Reality Check: Your parish has a sinful leader

From Logos 6 (awesome software!)

A pastor friend forwarded this to me at an opportune time: the day after I had responded to someone's challenge with acerbic sarcasm.  It happened at a board meeting, and I knew I had gone too far the moment I loosed my tongue.  It became more obvious when that board member left the meeting in tears.  The rest of the board looked on in shocked amazement.  They may have been surprised by the meanness of my response... but I wasn't.  Like Read more…

Sep
26

Don’t preach “the devil’s homily”!

It's not always easy to love your enemies, but it is always the right thing to do.

In every parish (even the dream ones), there are going to be people whom it is hard to love.  Like flies that get into the car when you take your garbage to the dump, their words and actions will continue annoying you long after you've left their physical presence.  Sometimes it can get so bad that your mind will actually create imaginary conversations so that these alleged "scribes and pharisees" can anger and tempt you with Read more…

Sep
15

Living in the Rectory – some pros and cons

This is humble rectory at St. Michael the Archangel parish in Woonsocket, RI.  The church building is to the left and the hall is behind it.  The back portion of the rectory contains classrooms, the parish office, and an apartment.

As a new priest, the first piece of advice many experienced priests have given me is to buy my own house.  We live in the rectory and, while it does bring challenges, we have found it to be rewarding for the parish, my family, and my ministry.  From the stories I have gathered, it seems that when rectory life goes well it is pretty good ... but when it goes poorly it is really, really, REALLY bad.  I am a "late vocation" priest and we Read more…