What does a priest do on Monday through Friday? Do they sleep in the church? Are they ever allowed to be out of uniform?
Back in June, I began my pastoral year at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Gibbsboro. A pastoral year has been described as a “year of internship.” While I’ve had many of these questions answered for me already, seeing the day to day life of a priest first hand has helped me to have a more in-depth answer to some of these questions.
When I started my pastoral year, I was told that not much happens at parishes during July and August. However, as soon as September started, things started to kick into gear. It seems that the parish office is never empty and that there are always cars in the parking lot.
For me, a typical day consists with waking up for one of our morning Masses and to spend some time in prayer before the day begins. Once a week, I give a reflection on the readings of the day. After Mass, I head over to the parish office to continue with the day’s work.
One of the great things about working in a church is that no day is ever the same. Some days I will go to nursing homes to bring Communion and visit our elderly parishioners. Other days I will be preparing for a special liturgy or parish event that is coming up. Time is spent sitting in on a meeting one of the priests is having or even occasionally meeting with parishioners myself. Overall, it is a chance to see God’s action in the lives of everyone I meet.
Recently, at Vespers with clergy and religious at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, Pope Francis said, “Once we come to realize how much God has given us, a life of self-sacrifice, of working for him and for others, becomes a privileged way of responding to his great love.”
Reflecting on the many blessings God has given me in my life gives me the strength to go out and spread his blessings with others. If you are a young man discerning whether or not God might be calling you to the priesthood, I would encourage you to share the blessings you have received in your life. Get involved in your local parish to give back for what you have received. As you get more involved, maybe you will have a chance to see just what a priest does all day.
The article by Seminarian Joshua Nevitt is part of an ongoing blog series called, “Journeys of Faith.” These blog posts are written by seminarians of the Diocese of Camden and posted every Tuesday throughout the school year. You can follow their weekly posts at www.camdenPRIEST.org