Thursday, January 16, 2003

I'm astonished at the volume of comments on the Baltimore post below. I'm astonished that so many find this shocking or surprising. Welcome to the Church. If you'd ever lived in a rural area, particularly in the South, you'd have long been accustomed to parishes with lay leaders, either paid or volunteer. Glenmary, for example, involves laity - many married couples, by the way - as missioners who, among other things, function as pastoral administrators. When I was all of twenty-two years old, I applied for such a job myself in the Tennessee parish to which I was moving - didn't get the job, obviously, but the weird thing is that on a tour of the Victory Noll Sisters convent and retirement home over in Huntington, Indiana about twenty years later - I saw the tombstone of the nun who did get the position.

Anyway. There aren't enough priests to lead every parish. There really never have been, depending on where you looked, if you bothered to look beyond your own comfortable existence in urban and suburban USA.

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