I attended a "conversation" (not workshop, not conference) today with Dr Julia Gatta and Dr Roberta Bondi on parish ministry as a spiritual practice. Attendees included one bishop, a number of priests, at least one deacon, and several laypersons. We talked about many things, about spiritual practices, about how hard ministry is, how hard life is, how hard it is to remember what we are called to do among all the things we are expected to do. We were urged to focus on how we are doing Christ's ministry, how we minister from our own center, how we are part of the body and not all of it. People spoke of their very real experiences (difficulties) and we passed the conversation around in the afternoon. It was good.

In a short conversation with Dr Gatta at the end, I described my life as a supply priest, and she said, simply, "So you are doing the essentials of the priestly calling. You celebrate the Eucharist and you preach the Gospel."

There are issues with being a supply priest - notably the lack of community and pastoral relationships - that are coming more and more into focus for me, but this was a gift. I am providing the essentials. How nice that I know what I am called to do in this role and I do it.


Alison Zajicek said…
And you are writing a wonderful blog, which is an ongoing blessing to me, at least. It's as if I get a daily homily to refresh me along the way.
Thanks, Allison. Blessings on your next adventure - I'm glad to be part of it via cyberspace! Penny+