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Cutting to the Heart of the Lifestyle of Priests

Questions to ponder for a healthy ministry

produced by the Joliet Priests' Continuing Education Committee


Part I: Questions for Pastor/Associate Discussion
1. Parish Ministry responsibilities
A. For which ministries/organizations am I responsible?
B. How are weekday and weekend Masses assigned?
C. How are weddings and funeral assigned?
D. What is the expectation for priests' presence in the school (if applicable) and the Religious Education program?


2. Presence in the rectory and parish
A. Are there "on-call" days?
B. Is there an expectation to be present at all weekend Masses?
C. What parish meetings should I be attending?
D. When are staff meetings?


3. Meals
A. What (if any) meals are provided at the rectory?
B. What is the expectation for presence at those meals?
C. Is there a regular "meal out" day and time?
D. For meals not provided at the rectory, what kind of compensation is given for meals out?
E. Does someone do grocery shopping?
i. Where is a list kept for shopping?
ii. When is grocery shopping done?


4. Clerical Dress
A. Is clerical dress the norm for the office?
B. Is clerical dress the norm for Liturgy?


5. Visitors in Rectory
A. What parts of the rectory are available for visitors?
B. Are there accommodations for overnight guests?
C. Are visitors invited for meals?


6. Furnishing of rooms
A. What furniture is available?
B. Can furniture be replaced? If so, who chooses it? Who pays for it?
C. Can rooms be painted? By whom? Carpet cleaned? Replaced?


7. Office space
A. Where is my office to be located?
B. What type of furniture is there?
C. If new or additional furniture needed who orders it? Pays for it?


8. Access to secretary
A. Is the secretary available for mailings?
B. Is secretary available for typing?
C. Is secretary available for returning phone calls and/or scheduling appointments?


9. Car
A. Does parish pay total bill for Auto Insurance?
B. Is there a garage?
C. Is maintenance person available for minor car upkeep (i.e., adding oil, tire pressure)?


10. Phone
A. Is there a personal line for associate?
i. If so, who is responsible for the bill?
B. If there is not a personal line available for the associate, can one be put in?
i. If so, who pays for the installation?
C. Is associate expected to carry a pager or cell phone?
i. If so, who pays for phone/pager and service?


11. Money
A. Is petty cash available to the associate?
i. If so, for what is it and for what is it not available?
ii. How do I get petty cash?
iii. What type of accounting is necessary for petty cash?
B. Is there a parish credit card?
i. If so, for what is it and for what is it not available?
C. How do reimbursements for purchase work?
i. Who do bills go to?
ii. When should they be turned in?
iii. When will they be disbursed?


12. Shared prayer
A. Is there an expectation or a desire for shared prayer?
i. If so, when and where?


13. Pastor/Associate Meeting
A. Day and time of Meeting?
B. What will be the format of those sessions?


14. Keys
A. What keys are necessary to carry with me?
B. Where are additional keys kept for "other" doors?
C. Security Systems/Alarms
i. What time are they set?
ii. What is the code?
iii. Who sets the alarm?
D. Who is responsible for unlocking and locking doors at church and other facilities?
i. What time should they be unlocked?
ii. What time should they be locked?
15. Day off and/or overnights
A. What is the Pastor's day off?
B. What is the associate's preferred day off?
i. Does this conflict with regular parish events?
C. How "sacred" is day off? (i.e., nothing is ever done on my day off)
D. What is the feeling of Pastor and Associate towards overnights?
i. Is overnight day before or day after day off?


16. Smoking
A. Is pastor or associate a smoker?
B. Where in rectory and/or office building is smoking limited to?


17. Pets
A. Are any pets allowed in the rectory?
B. If so, what types of pets?
C. Where should pets be confined in the rectory?
D Do any of the priests in the house have allergies to pets?


18. Laundry
A. Is there someone that does priests laundry?
i. If so, when?
B. What about dry cleaning?
i. Who takes and picks it up?
ii. Who pays for it?


19. Salary A. When are salaries paid?
B. When is expense allowance paid?
C. Does the parish have direct deposit?
D. How are continuing education funds dispersed?


20. Hospitals/Emergency Calls
A. Is the parish responsible for any hospitals or nursing homes in the parish?
B. Who is responsible for any emergency calls that come in?
i. Is there a rotation of emergency on call?


Part 2: Questions for Ongoing Discussion
1. How has our vision of priesthood, liturgy and ecclesiology been shaped by our personal history, seminary formation and ministry experiences?


2. What is our vision of priestly ministry in this parish? What are the values and goals we share?

3. How can we ensure that any differences between us are dealt with in an open and respectful manner rather than letting them become sources of division and resentment?