I was recently reading in the new prayer book the ordination rite for a priest, and was freshly struck by the exhortation, given by the bishop: "I now exhort you, in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to be a messenger, watchman, and steward of the Lord. You are to teach, to warn, to feed, and to provide for the Lord’s family, and to seek for Christ’s sheep who are in the midst of this fallen world, that they may be saved through Christ for ever. Remember how great is this treasure committed to your charge. They are the sheep of Christ for whom he shed his blood. The Church and Congregation whom you will serve is his bride, his body. If the Church, or any of her members, is hurt or hindered by your negligence, you must know both the gravity of your fault, and the grievous judgment that will result." A very grave exhortation indeed! There's one teeny, tiny problem with it, however. I'm not a mind-reader. I'm also not omniscient, I cannot know If you are in distress or in need of pastoral care if you don't make it known. I know how it can be. We don't want to bother anyone with trivial matters. We don't want to be a burden. But, here's the thing. I'm under the pastoral care of our bishop, and he's under the pastoral care of the Archbishop, and even the Archbishop has a pastor! Every Christian needs pastoral care. And so, I offer this list as a simple guide to know when you should call a priest.
When to Call a Priest:
- When your marriage is in trouble.
- When you are deeply troubled by sin. (We offer confession and not only that, but counsel as well.)
- When you are in the hospital or going to be.
- When you are captive to addictions (to alcohol, narcotics, opiates, pornography, gambling, shopping, etc.)
- When you are about to have surgery.
- When you are homebound and would like to receive the Sacraments.
- When you are about to leave on a trip or vacation, so you can be prayed for.
- When you are experiencing trouble with family members or children, and unsure of what to do.
- When you have a family member who is sick or dying.
- When you have experienced the death of someone close to you.
- When you are depressed or feeling anxiety.
- When you are facing legal issues.
- When you're feeling lonely and isolated.
- When you are facing a job change or loss.
- When you're struggling to make ends meet.
- When a family member is serving in the military. (We have a diocesan list of service members and all of these are prayed for in every parish.)
- When you are experiencing distance or frustration from your parish family.
- When you are concerned about your future.
- When you are considering marriage. (We offer pre-engagement counseling as well as pre-marriage counseling)
- When you are considering a vocation.
- When you are about to move your household.
- When a spouse is away for work, and you need support.
Our parish is blessed to have four priests- Fr Jonathan Kanary, Fr Nicholas Krause, Fr Matthew Aughtry, and myself. All of us are available to provide pastoral care to you and your family. To schedule a meeting with a priest please email firstname.lastname@example.org.