Thursday, 7 July 2016

My kind of parishioner ..

Sometimes I wish I had a parish full of parishioners who didn’t want to get involved.

I would want the man who mowed the lawns so faithfully to prefer to be doing something else; the lector who was happy it was not her turn to read; the lady who helped out with communion wondering what she was doing there since she felt unworthy; parishioners puzzled about having been asked to join a liturgy committee because they felt they didn’t know much about liturgy; and the chair of the parish council getting edgy when the meeting was going overtime because he had other things to do.

I like reluctant parishioners because I know that when they agree to take on a job they are truly serving – and not self-serving. I know that they have not made the Church into a project of their social life or a forum through which to acquaint everyone with their ‘giftedness’. Nor are they engaging in what Pope Benedict called ‘ecclesiastical occupational therapy’.
And what’s more, when the humble lector or reader or parish council members find themselves replaced by new faces they graciously step aside because it was never about them, it was always about service – a far cry from those who cause a fuss and leave the parish to find another place in which they can exercise their ‘ministry’.

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