Kathryn Whitaker, long-time listener, friend, and author of “Live Big, Love Bigger: Getting Real With BBQ, Sweet Tea, and a Whole Lotta Jesus” joins Father Dave for a conversation about how parishioners can support their priests during a busy time in the Church.
Lent is a hectic time for priests. From Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, many priests are run off their feet trying to get everything together during the busiest liturgical season of the year. “I know that traditionally speaking, priests have a lot of extra things that they have to do,” Kathryn says. “How can (parishioners) support our priests or show them some love during the Lenten season?”
According to Father Dave, the answer isn’t one-size-fits-all.
“It does depend on the priest… Everyone needs to come up for air… For introvert priests, how you support them is letting them have their alone time. For people like me, I could kick back with a family that I’m comfortable with.” Priests have different needs, personalities, and energy levels, but the important thing is giving them whatever space they need to feel a little more relaxed.
Besides allowing priests to have some alone time or quality time with loved ones, everyone appreciates an extra meal or two.
“A lot of priests, particularly diocesan priests, often live alone or with another priest,” Father Dave explains. Some just don’t have much time to cook in the midst of parish activities, so homemade food is always appreciated. “If you drop by the rectory with a big tray of lasagna, that would be a great gift.” Father Dave even recommends sending a service like Blue Apron or another simple cooking kit to priests who don’t have much time to shop or prepare food during Lent.
Finally, spiritual sustenance is just as important as tangible food; priests, like all of us, need prayers during Lent so that they may continue to grow in strength and holiness.