On Being Our Pastor

Over the course of my 20 years in Catholic education I have worked directly with 6 pastors and dozens of assistant pastors.  Over that time, I have had the opportunity to see the good and the bad of Parish life and life as a priest.  Being a priest, and particularly being a pastor, can be a difficult and lonely job. 

Pastors are ultimately responsible for everything that happens at their Parish.  For those without a school this includes Masses, Baptisms, Confessions, Parish Council Meeting, RCIA, visiting the sick, counselling parishioners, financial oversight, fundraising, management of many employees, and much more.  If you add a school to that, the Pastor is ultimately responsible dozens of employees, hundreds of students, and a multi-million dollar budget.  That’s a lot of meetings, decisions, and pressure for men who felt called to a life of prayer and service in the Church.

Like a Principal, the Pastor is the only person on the property with his job.   While he can have great relationships with others at work, he is ultimately responsible and “the buck stops here.”  Sometimes he must make decisions based on information he cannot share. It can be a lonely and vulnerable position to be in, as every decision is under a microscope. 

Despite all these challenges, our Pastor Father Paul has maintained his joy and love of his job.  Though burdened with many challenges in a growing parish, Father Paul is quick to smile, make a joke, and listen with care.  At business meetings Fr. Paul is curious, collaborative, and assertive when needed.  He has a clear vision for the church and is determined to achieve it.  He has a heart for evangelization and a deep love of the Church.

Congratulations to Fr. Paul on 25 years of priesthood.  May God bless him in his ministry for 25 more years and beyond!