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Posted March 12, 2006

A Good Suggestion by Rev. Michael Heher for Better Working Together with International Priests

In my own individualistic culture, one of the worst offenses is meddling, telling someone else what to do.

So I keep quiet about my concerns, except on my days off among my friends. In the cultures of many international priests, one of the worst offense is to contradict or question a superior. One must agree even when he really disagrees. And so I hear “Yes” when yes is not meant, or more often I get no answer at all. In a rectory filled with such respectful silences, hardly anyone laughs, let alone kids another. It’s not the kind of place where you might share a drink or watch the news together or go out to a late dinner on Sunday night.

It doesn’t sound like much fun. The practice of Catholic priesthood is becoming lonelier enough nowadays for other reasons. If you ask me, I vote for more communication, despite the difficulties across cultures. And I ask God to give us more honesty and more courage.