The normal routine for priests has gone
THE normal routine for priests has gone so clergy need to think differently about how they connect with their communities, Archbishop Christopher told a meeting of priests today.
The Archbishop used a “Zoom” online meeting with his 41 priests to thank and encourage them for their pastoral work at such a challenging time.
“Last Sunday morning was the first time ever that I’ve woken up as a priest and had nothing to do,” the Archbishop said.
“The churches are shut and there are no public Masses and our normal routine has gone. This is something new for us and we need to work out new routines as priests.”
The Archdiocese showed great courage and resilience during the January bushfires and enduring the drought, Archbishop Christopher said, and now we are confronted with a different crisis.
“We saw the remarkable capacity of local parish communities to step up in the moment of crisis and I am so proud of the way we did that,” he told the priests.
“I really want to thank you for everything you are doing and encourage you at this most unbelievable time in our history to use all the pastoral imagination you can to be with your communities.”
Addressing the 41 priests who joined the online meeting from their parish offices and homes, the Archbishop also:
- Encouraged clergy to think of the church as a field hospital and what that meant for them,
- Urged the priests to respect physical distancing rules while devising ways that parishioners could feel “the closeness and caress of God”, and
- Supported the priests’ sharing ideas to connect with their communities.
“We are becoming an ‘e-church’ in this Archdiocese with everything online,” he said.
“It is a bit like the catacombs in the early church.
“Families and households have become quasi-monastic communities, they have taken on that feel.
“We hear words such as isolation and loneliness but for us in the church we talk about different words such as solitude and contemplation and encounter.
“For the church it is not so much loneliness but we talk about solitude and how do we encounter the Lord in that solitude?”
Archbishop Christopher said he hoped to have Holy Week services livestreamed from St Christopher’s Cathedral.
He told the priests that he was deeply moved by a homily that Pope Francis gave last Friday in which he said: “You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing.
“It is not a time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not.
“It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others.”
This is something that is very sad, particularly at Easter. Hopefully, the Coronavirus will end sooner than expected and we will all be able to return to our parishes and carry on as usual.
Meanwhile, I am pleased to see that the Archbishop intends to carry out the Holy Week services online. I hope he is able to do so. But is very sad that we won’t be able to receive Holy Communion at this time.
I will pray for the end of the Coronavirus sooner than later.
This is fine as far as it goes but the fundamental problem remains: we can no longer take the Eucharist. That is the problem to be solved.
We have particularly appreciated the intimacy of the Online Mass. It is also concentrated into a little over 20 minutes with no loss of impact.
Our own parish at Holy Spirit is trying an interactive Sunday Mass based upon the same Zoom technology used by the Archbishop in his meeting with his priests.
We also viewed the Pope’s extraordinary Urbe et Orbi homily at St Peter’s, in which the homily is presented as a viewable document, but subtle language controls enable selection of translations in a bunch of languages.
These are all great initiatives, and for a Church always under the pump for being ‘behind the times’, we applaud her.
Having been very supportive last night, we tried to view the Mass for today (Fr Paul). and gave up. The daily email first pointed us at the correct link, but later to just the homily. We have been trying to use an Apple Mac to get the recording, then stream it via AirPlay to a TV. We really need an Idiot’s Guide to OnLine Mass. ‘
Dear Peter and Valerie,
Just wanted to let you know that due to a technical issue, we will not be able to present Mass online today. Fr Mannus Tellis OP will celebrate the Mass online for us tomorrow. Listen here to Fr Paul Nulley’s homily for Wednesday 1 April. Thanks for your understanding
My thanks to Archbishop Christopher, Fr Tony our VG, Helen Delahunty and Victor Dunn for your initiatives and support in these days. Thanks also to Feliicity dF, Jeanine and Jasper for keeping and encouraging us in the e-world of communications. It was good to see and hear the priests today as I feel very connected. Take special care dear friends.
Our Thoughts and prayers are with Archbishop Christopher and all our Clergy. Please take care of yourselves. We have found all the online Masses Spirituality uplifting and a great comfort to us during these uncertain times. It so good that we have our faith to sustain us. Even though we can’t receive the Eucharist physically. We have embraced the idea of spiritual communion.
When st therese was a child, they only had access to the eucharist once a month at best. As catholic christians we have so many ways we can experience our God. Even in the mass, god is present in so many ways- many of which are still there in our e-masses – the holy word, the priest, the community.
Let this time be a chance to explore the many ways god shows himself to us. I will be walking in nature experiencing to god’s creation with all my senses.
At this time I particularly feel for our diocean priests who are indeed suffering the worst. Some of our priests are a long way from home and only see their families once a year on their annual leave. The community provides them comfort, joy and company, indeed it’s their vocation. Our diocesan priests must feel very alone at this time. The Religious leaders who have just recovered from bushfires also must be commended for their leadership in a summer which has been like no other in a long time
We have our Bibles at home. God is fully present to us in the Scriptures; the Word can sustain us in our homes when we cannot access the Eucharist.
A suggestion for clergy with time on their hands – Consider the courtesy of responding to, or simply acknowledging, correspondence, letters, emails etc, received from parishioners. Ignoring parishioners who take the time to communicate in writing with their priest or bishop is clericalism. Our clergy should not be too busy or too important to respond to a humble member of the laity.
I have just recently purchased an IPad so I am very grateful to all who are making the masses and messages available to parishioners thank you all and may Mary and her Son bless and protect you:
We really enjoyed the daily mass available from nominally 6am. Lately it seems to have given way to a 12.15 Online Live Streamed Mass which doesn’t seem to present as well technically even though the general impact in terms of its intimacy is excellent.
The Youtube recording probably has an advantage of buffering ahead on the transmission stream whereas live streaming takes pot luck.
Anyway, you have the viewing statistics, and are in the best position to assess them.