Trouble Understanding Father's Accent?

December 2005

In one of the surrounding Catholic parishes in the area, the Pastor says in the bulletin: "It has come to my attention that there are some people who have left [our parish] because they have trouble understanding Father [So-and-So's] accent [not the Pastor's]. This attitude is unconscionable. With the priest shortage in this country, people should be on their knees praying, giving thanks to God that there are priests who are willing to come here and share their priestly ministry with us.... Rather than trying to get to know Father [So-and-So] as a person, or offering to help him, they decide to stay away or go elsewhere. I am deeply ashamed and disappointed." And well he should be.

We have attended this parish many times, and indeed Father [So-and-So's] accent is hard to understand. However, in this parish there are very few children or teenagers. Much of the problem with the priest shortage is that Catholics nowadays have few children. And they don't encourage their children to go to the seminary (or the convent) because they want to pass on the family name by means of grandchildren.

If parishioners don't want to have large families, they should blame themselves for the priest shortage and not blame Father's accent.

New Oxford Notes: December 2005

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