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Priest Shortage. As everyone is aware there is a severe shortage of priests in Ireland at the moment and the Diocese of Clogher is no different as the average age of our priests has increased year by year and the numbers are dwindling. Most priests, who are past the retirement age of 75 years, are still at work in parishes and the workload has increased rather than decreased. Parishes, which formerly had two, three or four priests, have now been reduced to one, which they may have to share with a neighbouring parish or indeed parishes. When a priest dies or becomes ill and incapacitated, who is there to replace them? Where does the Bishop find a priest to take the place of that priest, either temporary or permanently? In many cases the laity demands a similar service to what they grew up with but, let’s face it, that is just an impossibility in the current circumstances. So what is the poor Bishop to do? Recently public meetings have been taking place to give the laity a chance to talk about the situation and to realise the difficulties faced by the Bishop and the priests in trying to bring the message of the Gospel to the flock. There is a hope that we, the laity, will understand the situation better and assist in taking the strain off our priests by offering our services to help out with various aspects and activities of our faith. This, to be a success, will have to be done with great sensitivity, consideration and careful preparation. I would like to suggest another idea which might be used to ease the pressure on priests. Nowadays most people have become proficient in the use of modern technology. So – let’s put up big screens in our churches. These can be retracted when not in use. Then one priest will say Mass in one place and this will be relayed over the internet to a number of neighbouring Churches at a prefixed time. The congregation would assemble in any or all of these Churches and hear Mass there over the internet. The one sermon and prayers will be common to all and collectors will gather the collection in each church. When it comes to the Holy Communion, Eucharistic Ministers in each Church will distribute the Communion. This Eucharist will have been consecrated at a previous Mass, in any location, and delivered to the Tabernacle of each of the Churches. Readers, servers, Choirs, etc. will take turns at the central Mass. This might work, it might be allowed by Church authorities, it might be worth a try, it might be accepted by the laity, it might be accepted by the priests – a lot of ‘mights’ but I just thought I would throw it out as an idea. In the meantime can I suggest that priests make it easier for themselves by cutting the length of their sermons? It is known that the attention span of a human sitting on a hard seat is 3.5 minutes. If a sermon goes on after that, it will not be processed by the brain unless a major point is made, which will replace the thoughts contained in the first 3.5 minutes. So it is best for the congregation to get the most important point in that first 3.5 minutes and leave them with that. More time can be spent by the priest leading the congregation on prayers befpre and after Communion, and hopefully people would wait to say those few prayers rather than rushing out through the door as they come from receiving.
All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Priest Shortage. As everyone is aware there is a severe shortage of priests in Ireland at the moment and the Diocese of Clogher is no different as the average age of our priests has increased year by year and the numbers are dwindling. Most priests, who are past the retirement age of 75 years, are still at work in parishes and the workload has increased rather than decreased. Parishes, which formerly had two, three or four priests, have now been reduced to one, which they may have to share with a neighbouring parish or indeed parishes. When a priest dies or becomes ill and incapacitated, who is there to replace them? Where does the Bishop find a priest to take the place of that priest, either temporary or permanently? In many cases the laity demands a similar service to what they grew up with but, let’s face it, that is just an impossibility in the current circumstances. So what is the poor Bishop to do? Recently public meetings have been taking place to give the laity a chance to talk about the situation and to realise the difficulties faced by the Bishop and the priests in trying to bring the message of the Gospel to the flock. There is a hope that we, the laity, will understand the situation better and assist in taking the strain off our priests by offering our services to help out with various aspects and activities of our faith. This, to be a success, will have to be done with great sensitivity, consideration and careful preparation. I would like to suggest another idea which might be used to ease the pressure on priests. Nowadays most people have become proficient in the use of modern technology. So – let’s put up big screens in our churches. These can be retracted when not in use. Then one priest will say Mass in one place and this will be relayed over the internet to a number of neighbouring Churches at a prefixed time. The congregation would assemble in any or all of these Churches and hear Mass there over the internet. The one sermon and prayers will be common to all and collectors will gather the collection in each church. When it comes to the Holy Communion, Eucharistic Ministers in each Church will distribute the Communion. This Eucharist will have been consecrated at a previous Mass, in any location, and delivered to the Tabernacle of each of the Churches. Readers, servers, Choirs, etc. will take turns at the central Mass. This might work, it might be allowed by Church authorities, it might be worth a try, it might be accepted by the laity, it might be accepted by the priests – a lot of ‘mights’ but I just thought I would throw it out as an idea. In the meantime can I suggest that priests make it easier for themselves by cutting the length of their sermons? It is known that the attention span of a human sitting on a hard seat is 3.5 minutes. If a sermon goes on after that, it will not be processed by the brain unless a major point is made, which will replace the thoughts contained in the first 3.5 minutes. So it is best for the congregation to get the most important point in that first 3.5 minutes and leave them with that. More time can be spent by the priest leading the congregation on prayers befpre and after Communion, and hopefully people would wait to say those few prayers rather than rushing out through the door as they come from receiving.