Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Shaking Hands After Mass

Wrestling two kids out the door, shoving on mittens and hats she turns in a rush "Have a great week Father!"

His hair is disheveled and part of his shirt is untucked. "Father, I've got a question, if they found aliens on Alpha Centauri, would we baptize them?"

Eyes white hot with rage: "That was a terrible homily"

Looking scared and nervous and poor: "Father, I've never been to Mass before. Can I come back?"

Seemingly unaware of the line of people behind him: "So Father, what's going on in your life?"

With tears streaming down her face she grabs the priest's hand extra tight: "Pray for my Mom who passed away on Friday. We're burying her in Alabama on Wednesday."

With a proud and odd chuckle and a look of contrived concern: "I found a typo in the bulletin."

With a smile: "Father that was a great homily. Thanks. I needed that."

"Father, I think the sixth grade teacher has to go."

"Father would you like to buy some cookies?"

"Is anyone going to water the hydrangeas by the front door of Church?  They look like trash!"

"Parish council is on Thursday right?"

"If I were preaching I would have taken it a different direction"

"How's your grandma?"

"Could we meet on Thursday morning, I need someone to talk to.  My marriage is really struggling."

"Who decided to raise the burial costs in the cemetery?"

"Father, Stan has surgery on Monday. Pray for him."

"Will you hear my confession?"

"Father, I hated that opening song. Did you pick it?"

"Can you come over for dinner on Tuesday?"

"Father, I loved that opening song. Did you pick it?"

"And a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him." Mark 5:24


  1. Are you comparing yourself to Jesus? Is that the reason for the verse from Mark?

  2. Boy, some people will spin everything in a negative way!

    I am not comparing myself to Jesus...but a priest's life (and everyone else's life) is supposed to imitate Jesus. The Church says the priest is to live as an "alter Christus" (another Christ)

    A mom or dad could write a similar post about their children coming to them, and a religious sister could write a similar thing about those she ministers to, and they could all put the same quote at the end of their post as well.

  3. I try to limit myself to a handshake and a nod. Most everything else, especially opinions on parish administration/liturgy, should be expressed in a signed letter or email. Time and place brothers and sisters.

  4. Excellent post, Father. Recently I've worked a part-time position at a parish. My eyes are opened to the absolute craziness that is the life of a suburban parish. I couldn't deal with all those people. I have four small children, a wife, and two jobs. That's enough for me.

    So, Father, keep up the good work! Your blog is a blessing. I thank God for sending us faithful priests such as yourself! Remember our Lord stole away from the crowds, probably regularly. Thank you for your life of sacrifice, Father Hollowell!

  5. I always just say "Thank you, Father." (And I mean it. I appreciate what he's just done.)

  6. Thanks for sharing, Father. Now I'm trying to remember what I've said to *my* Father!

  7. I tell him I love him and thank him for MASS.

  8. Such a great and funny post, Father Hollowell! I LOVE how you use humor in your blogs and sermons and feel blessed to know you! I have not looked so forward to Mass in many, many years! When I say THANK YOU, I mean it from the bottom of my heart!