When it comes to parish life and evangelization, we need to talk about the elephant in the room: there isn’t enough time. Between celebrating the Mass, pastoral visits, marriage prep meetings, visiting the parish school, giving a talk at a Theology on Tap, and somehow finding a moment to pray, priests barely have enough time just to make it through a normal day. Having lay people on staff and in various ministries is extremely helpful, but even they can often be overworked. Plus, at the end of the day, there are certain things only a priest can do and a presence only a priest can have.
Woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other to help. So also, if two sleep together, they keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.
Simple gestures build community
Anyone who has presided at, or even helped coordinate, a wedding knows that they are likely going to feel overwhelmed at some point. The amount of the details from the flowers to the number of people in the wedding party is often incredible, not to mention the forms, the readings, that special request. Simply put, there’s a lot going on. So for most of us, after the wedding comes and goes, we wipe the sweat off of our forehead, and say “Thank God that’s over.” And then we move on to the next emergency. The hard reality of parish life is that there is no let up. A priest may have a funeral, baptism, wedding, and fundraiser event in a single day (not to mention the emergency call to go to the hospital).