Our parish is getting a new priest. The old one resigned somewhat abruptly about a month or so ago and was replaced, temporarily, with Father Paul Seil, who is a great cook and is seen regularly on the Catholic diocese-produced show Our Daily Bread. I understand that Father Seil is one of three candidates to become pastor at our church. The diocesan committee that selects priests for parishes is being secretive about the other two.
There was no fanfare, no farewell, for our outgoing priest. He simply left. I think some parish group that decided to ask “what’s wrong with our church” placed the blame solely at his feet, and he decided to simply get out. With the current priest shortage I’m surprised that the diocese let him walk away; but then again, maybe they are privy to much more data than I, and knew that a change was necessary.
And a change is necessary. Our church, a beautiful building out in the sticks, is poorly attended at best. It needs some life breathed back into it. I feel like our Mass has become a requiem for the dead and the dying rather than being a joyous occasion for the living. If it exists at all the connectedness between the historical Biblical message and today’s society is lost on me when I go to Mass at my church.
The upcoming change may not necessarily be for the better, but something had to be done about the slide that our parish was on. I wish our former parish priest well.