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Q’s from HS: Do you get to ‘Hang out’ with friends?

Starting a new section here at Cincinnati Vocations: ‘Q’s from HS’

I was given a stack of questions from Serra Club presentations at two local Catholic high schools: LaSalle and Archbishop Moeller.  I’ll slowly work through them in a ‘Q’s from HS’ series.

Question: Do you still get to hangout with friends?

Absolutely!  Priests (and seminarians) are still men, and as human beings, we still need the friendships that we have forged throughout life, before, during, and after seminary.  For most priests, their closest friends are other priests, for another priest understands the unique stressors that we experience as priests.  Also, frankly, because our schedules can be so different from our other friends, it can be easier to meet a brother priest for coffee in the middle of the afternoon to chat over the upcoming Sunday readings, how to handle something for a wedding or funeral, things with the parish staff, etc.; than it is easier to meet with friends who work out in the world.

However, it is important for a priest to have ‘other’ friends, too.  In fact, this past weekend, while trying to kill a bit of time between appointments, I called up a buddy of mine to stop over at his house to watch a bit of the Bengals game (I guess we both like suffering!).  As a father of six children, his life is chaotic, as is mine, but it is good for me to keep in mind the unique situations that he has, so that it might help in my preaching, in my ability to relate the Gospel to the life of someone who works and keeps up the demands of a busy family life, too.

As priests, we make many, many friends; from fellow priests and other co-workers, to parishioners, to people we meet along the way; there is no shortage of people who open their doors to you as a priest.  It is certainly a way for the people of God to welcome Christ into their midst, and hey, every once in a while, a fabulous meal comes our way, too!

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