Someone asked me why is it that "everything in the Church centers on the priests?"
Unsurprised by the question, it confirmed what I have felt for a long time.
Churches seem to be closed, merged, clustered, or, by whatever the latest formula is due to a lack of priests to staff them. Clergy numbers have dwindled.
There are those who claim, however, seminaries are filling up these days, and they will be ordained to fill the gap.
Truth of the matter is hard to acquire.
The same parishioner who asked that question also moaned at how lacking her pastor is in relational skills.
"He laid off the secretary, fired the business manager, and everyone is gone except the religious education director who came to the church in March, months before the pastor took over," she complained.
What people have to put up with, I thought.
There's just too much influence in one pastor. At will, he can fire, hire or do otherwise.
He doesn't have to consult with anyone, let alone his congregation who suffer the consequences of his unilateral actions.
I always thought that the church is to provide the Eucharist for its people, yet, many go without it since fewer priests are around to nourish parishioners with the Bread of Life.
It always seemed that bapism and Eucharist were central to parish life.
Then why does it seem that everything revolves around the pastor?
The parishioner asks a question.
Will anyone be around to respond to it? Does anyone care?
Are parishioners just walking when they're treated without the collaborative family-like style that makes for community?
The present system isn't working, truth of the matter is.