Sunday, April 22, 2012

Do Priests REALLY Golf All Day?

The Washington Post certainly had a piece worth examining today on the LCWR smackdown.  Click here to read the story. 

I found a couple of things worth noting in the piece.

1) There were three examples of nuns getting "love" from society.  Two of the nuns were fictional, and the third, the Oscar-nominated Sr. Dolores Hart, belongs to a group of cloistered sisters who are absolutely NOT in the LCWR.  You can visit Sr. Dolores' Convent's website by clicking here, and then tell me if you think they are LCWR material. So all three examples in the article are of nuns not in the LCWR - an important distinction that is not made in the article itself.

2) It is true that the nuns had just as much as to do with the establishment of hospitals and schools as the priests and bishops (I love how the article creates the dichotomy - precisely what the LCWR wants), however, I'm fairly confident the nuns that taught and worked in the hospitals in the 50's and 60's would punch the leadership of the LCWR in the face.  Okay, maybe that's a bit strong, but to suggest that there is anything but a nominal connection between the nuns who slugged away in our hospitals and schools and the shenanigans that we see by the LCWR today is a farce.  In fact the nuns who now do a lot of the teaching are those NOT in the LCWR; are schools are being led more and more by the orthodox sisters NOT in the LCWR because it is the orders of orthodox non-LCWR sisters that are bursting at the seams with novices.

3) I find the suggestion that priests live the good life repulsive (I guess that would be suspected given my vocation).  Are there priests who do more golfing than praying, absolutely.  Is that disgusting - yes.  But the majority of priests are out slugging it away in parishes where they are living alone, without the inestimable gift of communal living.  Not even Vatican II imagined the situation we have now in the U.S. where priests are actually living alone, and it is a tough task at times, but most do it.  Priests are out saying 5 Masses on the weekend despite Canon Law saying that 5 Masses should be the exception for a weekend.  Before you scoff and say "how hard can it be to say a Mass" know that I think of myself as a pretty tough guy, and it is VERY draining to be "on" and essentially emceeing Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon with the stress of trying to preach well thrown in.  Despite what the kindergartners and first graders often say when I visit them - we don't have the week off between Masses either! :)

I'm not complaining at all, I love being a priest, but when articles like this make it sound like the LCWR is slaving away in our schools and hospitals while ALL priests today are drinking martinis at the country club, my blood gets boiling.  I'm not asking for compliments here, just thank your parish priest or, more importantly, say a prayer for him, and pray for all the sisters out there who see their job as being in opposition to the mission of the Church and Christ's bishops.


  1. They would love, more than anything, to turn God's people against each other.

  2. Dear Father,

    If it makes you sleep any easier, I say prayers for all priests throughout the day (and a few I know personally at morning & night). Do not be discouraged; some know that priests must be shepherds and all things to all people. Mass, Confession, Counseling, Baptisms, Marriage, Funerals, Extreme Unction, Confirmations, praying either the LotH or the Divine Office (4 - 8 times a day, depending on your order), visiting the sick at home, visiting the sick in the hospital, answering e-mails, returning phone calls, not being around one's family during the holidays, being uprooted from one assignment to another, etc....yeah, we know. AND, if one is a pastor, chaplain, or rector, one will be held that much more accountable. If one is a Bishop, Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison. Priests may not get much personal time or sleep for that matter, just like Jesus, but, the souls helped, I hope sustain you all.

    That being said, assuming the quote about priests eating in country clubs is true (and I am making that assumption), okay, so what? Are priests not allowed to have a good time? To spend their money as they want? To be treated by those who love them? To be revered for their office and vocation? I've been trying to take my pastor our for lunch or dinner for over two months; his schedule has yet to permit it. Yes, my pastor has downtime, but, he will ALWAYS be there to reconcile a soul to God. NUNS AND SISTERS CANNOT DO THAT!!!

    That brings me to the following: Nuns and sisters (and priests) (hopefully), know what they are signing up for. 4 - 10 years before perpetual vows/ordination (I cannot help but notice brothers & monks were not mentioned, not that the Vatican has need to go after them, I guess) may clue them in on what to expect for the rest of their life. Nuns & sisters have stability in which priests cannot luxuriate. A nun or sister, even if she isn't cloistered, knows that poverty is going to be her paramour for the rest of her life. Will she be bitter she cannot go to a country club to dine while Father does? Maybe. Hopefully she will get over it because it is what she embraced and dining in country clubs will not impress the Trinity when dead. Hopefully, in reality (I noticed it wasn't a sister who complained about this in the article), she will be too wraped up in loving and serving Jesus to care about what Father is doing.

    Nuns and Sisters marry God and are a spouse to Him and serve others.
    Priests act in Persona Christi and serve His Bride, the Church.
    Gender. Matters.

    And, why do we have the strict view of nuns? Media portrays them that way.

    We may, all, however, rest in the fact that, the LCWR may whine and cry and throw their toys out of the pram, and get the media and random nobodies on the internet throughout the world to prattle on and tantrum with them, but, all that isn't going to make an iota of difference to Rome.

    Rome has spoken, the case is closed.

    And, once again, some of us do pray daily for all priests, and the Holy Father. We got your back, Father Hollowell. ;)

  3. Geesh.... Growing up with the "Old Nuns" hidden hair, and the habits to the floor, no makeup, and mean as a snake. (to us kids) and reeeeeealy fast with a ruler! as Soon as the Parish Priest entered? Transformed herself into this sweet, wonderful Angel! (Then transformed back after he left) Now? seems to be some sort of internal battle, now ya can't tell if she even IS a Nun. no veil, wearing pretty much anything they want, and doing little if any teaching, but now are into "Social Work"

    I never minded Caddying for the local Parish priest, got out of a class now and then ;-) but martini's? we never even got a coke ;-( just got to know the parish priest was just a normal guy like everyone else. and they cursed a bit too ... they pretty much sucked at it ;-P

  4. Rent or buy a black and white copy of "Going my way" and then get the copy (in color) of Bells of St Mary. Both Bing Crosby Movies.

    They may be outdated? but a few of the principles do apply to today.

  5. You should try the Sport Father, perhaps a kind parishioner with a membership to crooked stick, could take you for an outing, have a few martini's, let your hair down..... well, ummmmm .... Oh My.... ;-P

    (You could use some of them curse words you hear in the confessional , out on the course) ;-)

    best leave the roman collar at home though... ;-P

  6. I wonder why these members of the LCWR took vows they didn't believe. Perhaps they were confused and thought they were Episcopalian, or Lutheran? What on earth are the convents teaching during the postulancy and novitiate? I know how long it takes from pre-candidacy to final vows - surely, at some point during that time, these women must have been taught and understood what they were signing up for... don't you think?

    Wow - if we're going to do a la carte nunneries, then why don't we all sign up?

    Also - I cannot imagine what saying five masses in one weekend must be like. Not just physically, but emotionally. I know I'm kind of freakish, but I can't keep my eyes dry during the Eucharistic prayers and transubstantiation. I've given up trying to stop it. The tears just flow. If I were a priest, I would more than likely be spent by the end of one mass. Five? Forget it! I'd need more than a round of golf. I'd need some medication and a spa day.