Mrs Brady on Church Shopping

Did you say you’re leaving the parish dear? Why would you want to do that? Oh, I know Fr. O’Keefe is annoying sometimes, but I reckon if he puts up with us we ought to put with him don’t you? There, there dearie, let me get you a Kleenex. You know I think there might be something in what you say about Fr O’Keefe’s sermons, and I must admit I sometimes don’t know what he’s going on about when he talks about Gaia and our Mother the earth. Do you remember that old television program called My Mother the Car? I used to love that show. Along with the Beverly Hillbillies. Wasn’t it Dick VanDyke who starred in that show? No? Let me think. It was Garry Van Dyke wasn’t it? Was that Dick’s brother? Anyway dear, sometimes when Fr.O’Keefe talks about his mother the earth I think about that program. And Andy of Mayberry. That was a good one too wasn’t it? That Don Knotts did make me laugh. Come to think of it, Fr. O’Keefe looks a bit like Don Knotts doesn’t he? Anyway love, my point is, that I’ve learned to think of other things if the homily is not quite right. We do have to give Father the benefit of the doubt don’t we? He would do so for us after all. It could be that he wasn’t trained properly poor soul. The church is in a terrible state right now, and I suppose we should be grateful that we have a priest at all. Fr O’Keefe probably went to seminary when all the priests and nuns were leaving to become hippies and make tie dye vestments. I remember those. They were not very nice, but the good thing is that you don’t see them anymore. What’s that? Oh dear, you do make me laugh! I think you’re right in a way. Perhaps we had been better off if they had all left to become hippies rather then becoming hippies and staying put. But never mind. Things will be alright in the end. You’ll see. I’ve been in the parish long enough to see priests come and go. They all have good ideas, and they most of them have been hard workers and all of them have been unusual characters. You’d have to be to become a priest in the first place wouldn’t you? Sometimes their strong characters have got the better of them and they’ve fallen by the wayside, or had personal problems, but I’ve never let that bother me. Our Lord is there at the Mass, and I try to see through the priest and find Him. I suggest you just try to put up with it. Offer it up as my dear old mother used to say when I had a toothache. Even this will pass away, and you know, if I may say so dear, if you weren’t quite so certain that you knew better than Fr O’Keefe you might just learn something from him. I remember once we had an old uncle who was the most cantakerous soul you ever would hope to meet and everybody used to talk about how difficult he was, and then one day he came around our home for tea and cookies and I learned that he had lost his mother when he was a boy, and I guess that just made him grumpy and sad all the rest of his days, but he had a collection of stamps he showed me and I discovered that he was really rather sweet after all, so who knows what burdens Father O’Keefe is carrying? Do you see what I mean dear? If you got to know him a bit better you might understand. There, there. Are you feeling better? Look, I’ve got a whole batch of fresh peanut butter cookies I just made. Why don’t you take them along so the children will have a nice treat when they get home from school?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    My favourite so far Father. I would imagine any priest or parishioner in her company for long would end up convinced/confirmed in the truth that it's never too late to hold one's arms out to God's Mercy and therefore to each other!!And we wouldn't want that would we? We'd have parishes coming together in the love and unity of the Holy Spirit and overlooking faults!!Nope, I think we would need to keep a very careful eye on Mrs Brady! ;)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09627986880884206811 flyingvic

    The priest who helped to train me had a fearsome reputation: brusque to the point of rudeness; "a bull in a china shop"; didn't suffer fools at all, never mind "gladly"; opinionated to the point of dictatorship; would tell people what hymns were going to be sung at a wedding or funeral rather than ask them what they wanted. There was more besides – and every word of it was true. But once he had ministered to someone in time of need, once his priestly ministry had been experienced at a moment of personal crisis, that person would never afterwards hear a word said against him.With priests as with everything else, if what you look for is that which is seen on the surface, then that is exactly what you'll get.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00638340870914296603 David Wilson

    Resonated with me as a pastor. If people would just come on mission as the Greeks did – "we would see Jesus"-They would too.Blessings,David

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15359701232026574828 KBernadette

    After one particularly bad experience with a priest I have come to the conclusion that a priest unfaithful to the smaller things cannot be trusted with the larger and most important. Play with these snakes for too long you are very likely to get bit.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15889136111159025019 cy

    Thank you Grandma for the cookies and good advice.Next time I am at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass I'll be sure to pass your advice along to the grandkids…our children…"Kids, when we go to Mass, be sure to NOT pay attention to what is said by Father and if you do catch any of it, just ignore it." Thanks Grandma!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    KBernadette said"Play with these snakes for too long you are very likely to get bit."I bet the devil said that to Jesus about the disciples. And the devil was right in a way. The disciples deserted Him, all of them. But He still built His Church, with them as it's rock and leaders.Funny old thing, Mercy. Has you praying for enemies and allsorts.Ain't it blinkin marvelous though!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15359701232026574828 KBernadette

    Shadowlands,I pray for the priest who betrayed me all the time. I truly do forgive him. That doesn't mean I have to stay in his snake pit and risk my damnation.Leaving poisonous pastures in search of a faithful Shepard is not deserting Christ…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06962374096401238994 shadowlands

    KBernadetteI am sorry you have obviously had treatment from a priest that seems to be criminal. I do wish you peace. I don't think this post was talking about condoning sin such as this, but rather overlooking lesser defects of character, the sort we all struggle with on a daily basis. Your initial comment suggested priests needed to be perfect… "I have come to the conclusion that a priest unfaithful to the smaller things cannot be trusted with the larger and most important"I disagree with that. I think satan spends most of the day attacking priests with their nerves and idiosyncrasies etc, they being at the forefront of the war with the powers of darkness etc.Even a huge defect of character in a priest: for eg alcoholism, can be overcome and the priest's minstry strengthened immensely for the good of others. I know some fantastic holy recovering alcoholic priests.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15359701232026574828 KBernadette

    Shadowlands, I meant unfaithful to little things pertaining to the Faith, I am not so shallow as to consider simple character defects.Yes, what my former priest did was truly criminal, in the sense that he betrayed his vows, grievously. Other than that he was an extremely kind and caring man, which in the end, only made the hurt worse.The thing is though, if I would have turned tail and ran when I noticed his theology was off, I would never have gotten bit by this snake. But no, I followed the stay put advice instead of trusting my better instinct.On another note, I wonder what Mrs. Brady would say to a priest that makes pro-homosexual comments and even has men dressed as women in his Eucharist brigade.I for one am done with priests of questionable beliefs and it has nothing to do with the liturgy, but I'm sticking with traditional orders at least until my faith is strong enough to not be affected by these bozos.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00679509789303989284 talitha cumi

    If we're just talking about annoying little personality traits, then fine, stay put. But what is a family supposed to do with a priest who teaches inaccurate or even heretical stuff, who espouses gay rights, says that contraception is really, ok, etc.? The stay-put theory means that parents are left with two options: 1) letting their children be misguided, or 2) having to constantly tell them that what their priest said is not true, thereby eroding their trust in the Church and her priests.Yeah, sorry, but I'd find a parish where I could trust my priest. Luckily, we're blessed with an FSSP house here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    the stay put theory is balanced by the need for the faithful to also protest the false teachings, to advise their bishop and then eventually to leave the parish.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06400691261382506978 Jenny

    Yes, indeed, I do know her well…


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