So the priests of the Diocese of Belleville had a big splurge during their recent convocation, staying in a luxury hotel and dining in a fancy restaurant. How dare they? All I can say to the critic of their “splurging” getaway is, get a life.
First of all, Drury Plaza and Kemoll’s restaurant are not luxury places but, even if they were, don’t you think these guys deserve, at least once in a while, to get away from their daily hustles and bustles and spend some time together in a decent place, relaxing, reflecting, praying and, yes, even having some good old fashioned fun enjoying their camaraderie?
Did you ever call a rectory after hours and a priest answers, telling you the rectory is closed? No, and you never will, because these guys’ work day is not from 9-to-5 but 24/7 and for their long and hardworking days they get paid peanuts. Of course, priests did not chose this life and the ministry for monetary rewards, but a little respect and support from their flock members can go a long way.
Priestly ministry is very exhausting, physically and spiritually, and, when you don’t receive well-deserved appreciation, it makes it twice as hard. So, love your priest/pastor, support him and appreciate him; he deserves it.
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And as for the Pastoral Center being “acquired” by the diocese for its own benefit, that happened so many years ago. Anne, get over it.
Anton Babic, Belleville