Our new priest started today and from one hour, I think I’m going to like him. His homily was short, under five minutes, and to the point. He wasn’t flashy or trying to make it about him. He added his own petitions and made some announcements (which the Lector didn’t mention.) At the end of Mass, when we all applauded, he said, “I won’t expect an applause every week.” Needless to say, the man has a sense of humor.
But what I really liked was at Communion he noticed two people in the handicap pew had not received the Eucharist yet. He would give Communion and then glance over. Give Communion, then glance over. He clearly looked concerned for these people and wanted their needs addressed. Finally the Eucharist Minister appeared and immediately offered them the Eucharist.
As a new priest, he didn’t know our very uniformed Eucharist Ministry process. As a Eucharist Minister, I can tell you it is hard to keep up with all the nuances and ever-so-changing process. So for a new priest, and even those traveling priests, I always feel sorry for them.
But our new priest, was cool, calm yet concerned. He wanted to make sure his people were taken care of. I like that.
As my husband always says, “Hey this is the honeymoon stage.” Since we only see the priest once a week, we won’t really get to know him for quite some time. Give him a year and then we will know.
So I’m curious, how do you handle a new priest at your parish? Do you stand back and watch, hoping for the best? Are you waiting for a flaw to compare to the last? Or do you allow yourself to see it as a new relationship, an improvement of the last?
Our associate pastor left last June and for the last year we have had a new pastor. I’m totally digging him and I think I can officially say we are out of the honeymoon stage. I welcomed the change and was looking forward to improvements.
And with this new assistant priest, I’m feeling the same way. I guess I don’t completely agree with my husband. The honeymoon can be short for me, as long as the effects are ever lasting.