Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Putting Matters in Perspective

We hear a lot about the shortage of priests, in the diocese. Well, we have 121 diocesan priest on active duty and about 40 from religious orders. We have 131 parishes. Admittedly, that's a bit of a stretch. However, let's not forget that it could be worse. Have a look at Angela Messenger's description of the situation in her diocese, in British Columbia.

"There are 20,000 Catholics in a diocese that covers about 133,205 square miles! There are 18 parishes and 20 missions. We have 21 priests, 2 are on leave. You do the math! In fact this summer while our pastor is away we are going from 3 weekend Masses to 2. In the neighbouring parish they are doing the same. But one priest will say Mass at both parishes. Two Masses for us, FOUR for him! And he has to drive 40 miles to get to the other parish in less than an hour."


Alex Fries said...

my question is somewhat related to this....

why can a priest only say three masses in a weekend? (in most cases in the diocese this is true, right?) What can't he say as many as he wants to or that would fit the community? I look at St. Paul's and wonder why they have two priests. Sure they are a bigger parish, but the same amount of masses can be said by a single priest in a weekend. After all, it's their job is it not? I'm confused about the whole thing.

Jeffrey Smith said...

I thought they could say two per day, but I'm not sure.
Let me mull this one over. Nothing I'd say would go over well in the chancery.

Irene said...

Wouldn't it have something to do with "other duties" -- like proctoring the bingo? (It's not hearing confessions.)

People do seem to forget what this business is about.