On the Rectory System

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I love it when people volunteer information that is really none of my business and give me an insight into part of life I have never really given serious consideration to before.

Our priests make some serious sacrifices in their lives (many of which we are already aware of) to be of service to God. Father Jim lets us in on another one Thanks Father Jim, a real insight that vastly increases my already great esteem for the life of sacrifice lived by our Clergy.

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The comment about Italy needs some context. Even though priests may live in private flats or with their families, Catholic churches are so numerous in Italy that it's at best a 5-10 minute walk to 2 or 3 active churches (not counting old, decrepit ones that are falling apart), and these churches have typically had only one or two priests: many priests served non-pastoral functions in the community, due to the institutionalization of the Church in a "Catholic" country.

Compare this to the US, where priests are often transferred from different parts of a diocese that encompasses several thousand square miles, and where at one time we had several priests to a parish. The archdiocese of Chicago had so many diocesan priests at one point that the motto of one seminary class was Numquam pastores, "Never pastors." (To think they considered it a vocations crisis even then!)

Thanks for pointing this out. It certainly shed some light on a few things for me. I sort of felt sorry for the priests who were alone in a parish. Now I see one good thing about it - a little privacy in the rectory!

I do know of some alternatives. For example, the parish next door has a building with different apartments in it. If you want Fr. X, you need to know which door to knock on. I believe they each cook for themselves. So, they have a bit more privacy than the typical rectory situation.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 16, 2004 1:16 PM.

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