Calling it quits from my church
  • A bit of background:
    I had a quartet come in for Sundays 3 and 4 of Advent. It was fine on Advent 3 but after Advent 4 Father decided to hammer me for doing Latin. First over text, and then proceeded to read me the riot act in the sacristy after a daily Mass one evening, in front of the associate Pastor.

    I decided to stick it out since I have no idea if there'll be any jobs in the near future for me at all (besides the fact that I'm not getting paid, I would still like to go to Mass). After some thought and prayer I decided to just do English for the next little while until I quit, which at the moment is scheduled to be Easter. (I will give him 2 weeks notice, of course.)

    But after today's insulting and demeaning remarks, I'm about ready to call it quits right now. Father has not been supportive of me in the slightest even despite my work bringing singers from all over the province every weekend to sing beautiful polyphony. I have had support from parishioners, including a leader of one of the contemporary groups who sees the importance of traditional music, Latin, chant, and polyphony.

    I'm honestly not sure whether I should still stick it out for the Triduum, or just quit now. With all the variants of COVID going around and our Premier's draconian lockdown measures seeming to never end, it seems that the only way to ensure that I could even get to Mass would be to stick it out. But then I have to work under these conditions, without pay.

    Hoping that some here could offer prayers and/or advice.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,723
    Prayers for you, of course. I retired at the end of July and I have never looked back even once. I know we are supposed to turn the other cheek to people like your pastor. Nowhere in scripture does it say which cheeks to turn to people like him.
  • Wow. that is very Sad. To See such antipathy for the Latin Traditions that were used for so many years.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 412
    I faced a similar situation but in a different industry. I made the decision to retire, but I'm single and I don't have a wife and children to be worried about. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Since, you are planning to leave at a future date you'll have to weigh the benefits of sticking it out or leaving now. If you're still young enough to keep working just make sure you have some where to go, good jobs are hard to find.
  • I would have resigned at the moment your ;pastor read you out in the sacristy in frot of the assistant pastor, let alone anyone else. After all that you have done, which we have witnessed, and without pay, such ingratitude, meanness, and total lack of godly compassion, it is amazing that you have stayed as long as you have. Why suffer more of this. He doesn't deserve for you to graciously provide him with Easter services.

    I never cease to be amazed that such people go ballistic over Latin or chant and have the brass to presume to forbid it when the Council commanded in black and white that it was to be retained. They are acting in contravention of authority and outside it. The word is 'disobedience', which I'm quite sure he demands of his inferiors. Why doesn't anyone ever straighten these monsters out?

    Of course many of us, at one time or another, have done what we did in the service of God for the sheer love of it and because of the music that we awee able to make - and at times have been shown, not just ingratitude but with pitiless meanness. Many priests seem almost to be living saints - or so they seem to us because of their inherent goodness and love. Others? I've known many, very many, Protestant and Anglican pastors who were far, far, far better Christians that an awful lot of Catholic priests.

    Shake the dust from off your sandals.
  • Carol
    Posts: 639
    You definitely have my prayers. I have no advice, except to take time for prayerful reflection.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 546
    Prayers!
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Thank you for all your prayers. I suppose I didn't really tell you what happened this morning...
    In an effort to work with Father, I tried to ask him if our music was ok (we sang everything in English and sang congregational hymns at the entrance, offertory, and concluding, I was going to do Communion too but forgot my NEH at home). His response to me was "Well, I didn't really like it, and it didn't help me pray. You know, when you listen to videos of chant, it's so beautiful, but yours didn't help me to pray."

    Needless to say, I have been upset about this all day, and I am really at a loss as for what to do. I know that, sadly, I will not be able to do the Triduum if I do not stick it out. I have another job in the works but it doesn't start until June. I am really dying to do the Triduum since we didn't really get to do it last year. I'd even do it all English - I don't even care. But I can only take so much.

    I should also mention that Father had taken no issue with our music before Advent, and, in fact, he was very appreciative of the polyphony we had done the summer of 2019. So it did come as a complete shock to me that he began making these complaints to me.
    Thanked by 1MatthewRoth
  • This is all very confusing.
    I apologise for presuming to suggest what you ought to do.
    I hope that your Lent is holy and your Easter joyful.
    Godspeed.

    (It was still the height of shameless cruelty for him to dress you down in front of anyone else - or to dress you down at all, rather than having a civilised and mutually respectful conversation.)
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,277
    We know from previous threads that your music program does not conform fully to diocesan directives, but with the pastors support/acquiescence you have been able to continue. A question - have there been other changes before Advent last year, such as a new assistant pastor, or have the Masses been newly streamed on the Internet? It could be that your pastor is subjected to pressure from the diocese.
    Thanked by 1Schönbergian
  • This changes things, at least a little bit -
    You said that he thought the chant he heard on videos was beautiful and moved him to prayer. Perhaps you might try asking him in what way your chant doesn't. This could, perhaps, lead to an understanding, and perhaps you might make your chant more pleasing in his eyes (ears). Assuming that, as you said, he does like chant. It remains, though, that he showed you utter disrespect by dressing you down in front of someone else - the act of a very mean and thoughtless person. Try a gentlemanly conversation. Both he and you could possibly grow from such an encounter. It would certainly be big of you after the way he treated you. If indeed you are not sure that you want to leave.
  • Keiran
    Posts: 13
    M. Jackson Osborn's comment seems to be the most helpful. Ask to speak to your priest and try to thrash out some sort of agreement.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,430
    Get advance approval of everything you perform.
    Thanked by 3tomjaw Don9of11 Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,723
    I hate to say it - actually I don't - but I have met some priests who are little more than misfit children who never grew up. Treasure the ones that are actually great people. They do exist. I don't get angry with the bad ones but realize I don't have to put up with them. More people should adopt that attitude instead of putting them on pedestals.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CCooze
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,277
    I'm so sorry. This sounds like a really difficult situation.

    There's only one thing that I would suggest that you personally do, and that is to make recordings of the mass, for two reasons: one is so that you have audition tapes for another, more appreciative pastor, and secondly so that you can take an honest listen to how your chant is sounding and make adjustments if needed.

    Otherwise, don't change a thing. It sounds likely to me like the pastor is making himself impossible to please. This is an ugly thing to do but not, unfortunately, rare. Besides making the music everything you would like it to be, and being sure about that through recordings, it's all on his side. I would advise you to try not to waste brain cells thinking about his issues.

    Before making decisions, you might want to investigate for sure whether you could maybe go to Mass someplace else if you decide to leave your parish.
  • Advance approval is an aspect of “support” as in the clergy supports you and your practice. A good and necessary thing, to be sure.

    But priests I've worked with (as unpaid doer-of-music, never paid DM, mind you) don't want to approve every line, every title. Also unfortunately a man who's use “It doesn't help me pray” and “It isn't as good as a recording” as critical comments is likely to eventually reject afterwards something he approved beforehand.

    I hope you can find a way of agreeing with Father, at least until Easter. Perhaps it will mean not singing even English plain chant but just the better “hymns”?

    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • I definitely disagree with the suggestion to get approval for everything you do. I've never had to do this - and never will. The time for discerning relative like-mindedness is during the interview and audition process. Having hired a particular person, the priest should give him relatively free reign in the choice of music and not exercise a veto over any and everything. After all, it is the musician's not the priest's, field of expertise. This is not to suggest that the priest should not ever express a desire for such and such.

    HAVING SAID THAT - the priest, pastor, and his choirmaster should have regular meetings (even weekly) that are sacrosanct and in which they make any tweaks needed and affirm one another. Such meetings and such MUTUAL respect are the basis for a good musical relationship and a well running music-liturgical program. (The key word here is MUTUAL, not one sided by either party.)

    Two questions each party should ask himself at the very beginning of such a relationship are,
    1) Priest: do I respect this man and his musical and liturgical competency.
    2) Musician: do I respect this priest and will I really be happy here - what can I accomplish here?
    If either party's answer is in the negative look elsewhere.

    I must say again that by dressing you down in front of anyone else your priest has effectively established that you are some sort of a subordinate, less that human creature - just a lackey. Living with such contempt should be unpalatable for anyone. Choirmasters are not lackeys.
  • Jackson,

    I think the purpose of pre-approval at this stage is to say (in effect) "Since you approved it before we did it, you can't complain about it after the fact".
    Thanked by 3Elmar JL MatthewRoth
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,165
    That's called estoppel in the legal world. It doesn't necessarily work with clerics and prelates, at least some of whom will always feel free to complain before, during and after the fact. Because.
  • >> the priest, pastor, and his choirmaster should have regular meetings [...] that are sacrosanct
    This!! Weekly if necessary, hopefully not.

    Kathy’s idea of recording is a good one; a lot to be learned from this even in general.

    I wondered as I read OP’s comments, what sort of chant recording makes the pastor feel “prayerful”?
    English? Latin?
    Accompanied, or not?
    Even (heaven forbid) recordings w echoes, sound effects? There are some.
    Could it be useful to know what he’s listening to?
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • Thank you for all your prayers. I suppose I didn't really tell you what happened this morning...
    In an effort to work with Father, I tried to ask him if our music was ok (we sang everything in English and sang congregational hymns at the entrance, offertory, and concluding, I was going to do Communion too but forgot my NEH at home). His response to me was "Well, I didn't really like it, and it didn't help me pray. You know, when you listen to videos of chant, it's so beautiful, but yours didn't help me to pray."

    Needless to say, I have been upset about this all day, and I am really at a loss as for what to do. I know that, sadly, I will not be able to do the Triduum if I do not stick it out. I have another job in the works but it doesn't start until June. I am really dying to do the Triduum since we didn't really get to do it last year. I'd even do it all English - I don't even care. But I can only take so much.

    I should also mention that Father had taken no issue with our music before Advent, and, in fact, he was very appreciative of the polyphony we had done the summer of 2019. So it did come as a complete shock to me that he began making these complaints to me.


    I would rather have people who are honest with me, than flatterers. You did ask his opinion, after all. Maybe he should have waited until others were not around, but he doesn't seem to have gone out of his way to dress you down in public?

    If he has been supportive in the past, ask him what has changed: his mind, or your music-making? Be frank but kind.
  • jefe
    Posts: 198
    Cassavant Organist,
    Walk.
    Find a nearby Parish at which to worship.
    You will like yourself again, and from your self effacing internet persona it seems you are worth liking.
    Your Nemesis Padre will quickly find out how difficult it is to retain a competent organist or any kind of music program.

    Over the years, it has been my experience that the less the job paid, the more I paid for it.
    It has been serendipitous for me to have served some very, very good Pastors and Priests who gave me all the leeway I could muster. If that didn't happen I would
    walk.
    jefe
  • I’ve lived through a position where I was at liturgical loggerheads with the priest and I was MISERABLE. I had to resign two weeks before Christmas because it got so bad. The great irony was that I ended up attending a beautiful TLM midnight mass and had one of the best christmases of my entire life. It was a blessing to walk away... and I was being paid.

    Regarding the suggestion to have weekly meetings, I indeed have weekly meetings with my pastor and they are very helpful. If we need to do in-depth brainstorming about how we are going to tackle the logistics of the Triduum, for instance, we can. It’s rarely about music choices. Other weeks, we have a quick 5 min chat and that’s it. But it IS helpful to have a dedicated time to address upcoming masses when necessary.
  • It doesn't exactly help that the priest doesn't know almost anything about liturgy. I had to teach him how to say EP I, how to do incense properly, etc. I walked him through our Easter Vigil (which got cancelled by the Diocese...) and wrote up detailed instructions for how to do Holy Week/Triduum properly. Perhaps I should walk. I would hate to leave the church in a situation without my assistance right before Easter, especially considering the complex liturgies. But maybe it's the right thing to do. I am generous by nature but it can be my downfall sometimes.

    The only problem is that the nearby parishes are either the worse music-wise or are closed because of the draconian and unjust lockdowns. So I'm kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place here. And if you know me personally, then you will know that I would struggle very much without regular access to the sacraments. Who knows if the lockdown will be reinstated in our area - if that happens I'll probably not have access to Mass and Confession.

    Weekly meetings in my case would be unhelpful at best and harmful at worst, unfortunately. There's a language barrier (he's a Syro-Malabar priest) so sometimes when I try to explain rubrics and local customs he can't understand me unless I show him. And then he has been telling me lately that "the rubrics don't matter, only the preference of the people". Which, for his purposes, usually means the youth minister and some select people in the church whom he likes and thinks represents the thought of the entire parish.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,215
    So if you don't do the music you'll be denied access to the sacraments???
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,723
    I still say get away from him. This priest has real problems and issues and you don't want to be caught in the middle of them. If he is saying "the rubrics don't matter, only the preference of the people," he would have real issues with the hierarchy of the Syro-Malabar church.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,165
    Richard

    I suspect he means that, as organist, he gets to attend Mass (and easier access to confession) with strict attendance limits and that, without that privileged position, he would have a harder time in practice having such ready access.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • There's a language barrier


    A Guatemalan priest incardinated in the USA was offended at someone for years who used the commonplace expression, "speak of the devil!" when he came in late for a meeting.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • "the rubrics don't matter, only the preference of the people"


    This is one of the most damning phrases I've read about any priest in a long time. Any priest who isn't a keen observer of the rubrics tends to have many, many other issues as well because there is a spiritual poverty when you do not seek to be careful and obedient to the Liturgy(!) of all things. It quickly becomes about him (or the whims of the"people", in this case) and ceases to be about God.

    The rubrics DO matter, of course. (I know you of all people know this.) But if he says that and means it, there's a serious deformation in his priestly training and/or his soul. Scary. The logical question becomes, if the rubrics don't matter, why do we do it at all? And where does it stop? How do you decide what is OK and what isn't? What happens when the people are ill-informed through fault or plain-old-fashioned poor catechesis? What then? Rather than correcting them and teaching them the right way you'll just slog along in an abusive liturgy? What a quandry. I'm so sorry this is happening to you.
  • Serviam,

    I don't want to be understood as coming to the defense of the indefensible, but if any of the following are true, it may be only partly the fault of the individual priest:

    1) He was educated by Jesuits (hence the expression "As lost as a Jesuit in Holy Week")
    2) He was educated in a seminary in which "Social Justice" or "Liberation Theology" were emphasized. (This is not identical to #1).
    3) He has read the "rubrics" of the Ordo of Paul VI, which at one time said, "These or other similar words"
    4) He has noted the enormous number of eucharistic prayers and the attitude of the Roman dicasteries to improvised prayers.
    5) He has studied carefully the words of Pope Francis, gloriously reigning, who speaks of a certain rigidity in people he calls Pharisees.
    6) He has read When Sheep attack, and misunderstood it.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 546
    I would suggest one other consideration in all of this: if the priest is "Syrio-Malabar" in training, and there is a language barrier, I assume he is a fairly recent immigrant from Kerala (?). One thing that's common in Brazil, and perhaps similar in India, is that clergy are highly respected socially, and have a hierarchical position in society higher than lay people. EVEN if the priest is from a very progressive background, with informal liturgical approaches, this does not impact this sense of social hierarchy. It's very different than the US.

    When you described having to 'teach' the priest how to use incense, how to celebrate various feasts, and so on, I wonder if this is something he found insulting or annoying, because it isn't the place of a lay person (even a professional musician, doctor, architect or whatever) to 'teach' a priest.

    The USA has a very equalitarian way of socially relating that simply doesn't work in, say, Brazil, I've found. There is nearly a 'caste system' and even if you pretend it's not there or act as if everyone is just another human being, you can't untangle from it. People "know their places" at all levels of society.

    So some of his apparent cantankerousness may be cultural. He is the priest, and therefore in charge of his parish.

    In any case, whatever the reasons, you have the free choice to look for other opportunities that better suit your skills and temperament. There's hardly a point in stubbornly mandating the use of styles of music that the parish priest finds annoying, or to work for someone who finds you annoying and whom you find annoying. Sometimes quitting is the best way for new doors to open. Especially since it's not your livelihood, it's not like you risk the welfare of your family by dropping this 'job' and finding a new one. Maybe you'll discover something you didn't know you were looking for?
  • You are correct in assuming he is from Kerala. In fact, both are.

    I would say, however, that he requested my advice specifically on those occasions. He sought me out specifically to ask how to do the vigil, incense, etc. So unless he set himself up for disappointment, I'm not really sure what to think.

    I've received a request or two from people asking me to stick it out until Easter. I'll have to see.
  • This gets more complicated by the minute!
    Since he said that rubrics weren't important and the people should have what they wanted (an eccentric stance for one of his background), perhaps you could have a conversation with him about this. In the Catholic Church it is the Church which makes the rules about what is and is not to be done (including music) at mass, NOT 'the people'.

    Your situation is indeed very confusing. I do hope that you are able to make a wise and peaceful resolution of your difficulties.
  • Carol
    Posts: 639
    Still praying for you.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • MJO, I have made that argument to him before, citing VII (which I don't really like) to support both his and my points. But I have no idea what's up with him. If it doesn't fit how he feels that day about what he thinks the people want then it's optional.

    He insisted on incense for Advent I the day before, making me and my assistant thurifer scramble to get ready for it, and then proceeded to tell me that evening that people didn't want it so we are scrapping it entirely until Christmas. Then proceeded to insist with me, reversing his previous decision to only have incense at Midnight and Christmas Day 12 Noon, that we do it for all 7 Masses, forcing me to come in earlier than I thought I'd have to. I'm not even sure, after him berating me in the sacristy, why I even did that.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,277
    So he has made these "people" who are complaining to him, probably including the Vicar, more important than you. No degradation or inconvenience is too great for you, as long as he can please them.

    Does that sound right?

    -Edit-

    I just read that over and realized it could come across as unsympathetic, which I don't mean at all. It's just that the more I hear about this priest's actions, the less respectful he sounds.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,920
    I have met some priests who are little more than misfit children who never grew up.


    Worked for 2 of those, and 2 of the very good ones. The bad ones are REALLY bad, even though they flaunt their Traddy creds.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Kathy, no offense taken at your response. In fact, I see it as absolutely correct except on the point about the Vicar - our "chancellor" at the diocese is quite strict about these things but this priest does not go to the diocesan meetings or deanery meetings and thus has limited to no communication with the higher-ups. As I said before, the (only) opinions that matter are those of the youth minister (who comes from afar and isn't even a parishioner) and those who volunteer and assist her. I have nothing against her except that she seems to be continually pushing her agenda in the church and has no regard for the people at all, and communicates to Father as though her ideas are the ideas of the people. She has been kind to me and has treated me infinitely better than Father, despite our disagreements.

    I should mention that a recent survey showed that parishioners wanted more focus on pastoral work/youth ministry. We began YM about 4-5 years ago and it was a huge success at the beginning, but eventually, the gimmicks like t-shirts, nonstop P&W, infantile preaching, etc. gave rise to a gradual decrease in participation. It is now seemingly difficult for them to get any member of the youth to participate in almost anything. And when they do, it's always the same people, which doesn't send a great message to me about how they're treating their people. But who knows - perhaps I've been out of it. All I know for sure is that my opinion as a parishioner of 10+ years,
    a regular worshipper, and a dedicated volunteer does not matter. Only those who seem to have his ear in the office or those whom he likes make a difference. And then his own personal opinion about things too, which goes totally against when he tells me that it's all about the people. So the messages that are getting sent are very confusing.

    Apparently, Father had a conversation with someone involved in music at the parish this morning and he asked if this person would be able to "convince me" to do contemporary music exclusively. I think the wording was like "how can I get him to do the songs that the other choirs do" or something to that effect. But the person whom he spoke with came to my defense and told him that there was no need for me to change anything, that the music is beautiful, and that, despite my talent and ability to change on a dime, it would not be serving my needs as a member of the faithful and would not fly. This person also warned Father, without telling him of my impending departure, that, should another position come up elsewhere, that I would be taking it and that I would be encouraged to do so.

    At the end of the day, being a volunteer, I have no real obligation to the church or to Father. After that conversation this morning, I am going to do music this weekend and evaluate from there. I'm fine to scrap the chant (which is English), and just do hymns/motets. I see that as a real sacrifice, considering all the things that I've done for the church and the desires I have. Perhaps I won't. But if Father has the audacity to complain to me again about the music on Sunday, I will be giving my resignation effective the moment he speaks to me. I have done everything in my power to compromise with him, including the ceasing of Latin entirely, but I am not going to switch the style that I do to contemporary.

    It was my intention to have already left by this point but unfortunately, the lockdowns have been extended in the places where I wish to go to Mass (there's a TLM nearby that I was going to go to) so this is kind of the only way for me to get to Mass unless I want to go west to another church. The problem, of course, is that the music would be far worse. And I most certainly don't want to just not go to Mass "because of the dispensation". I thrive on the Sacraments.

    I'm going to take a break from thinking about all of this. It's really eating at my mental health and I think I'm going to end up doing something rash or harmful if I keep ruminating on this.
    Thanked by 3chonak Elmar Don9of11
  • Prayers for you!
  • Elmar
    Posts: 282
    ... seems to be continually pushing her agenda [...] and communicates to Father as though her ideas are the ideas of the people
    Probably something that you can never do anything about, there usually is a 'hierarchy' of volunteers, and this is the currency they are getting paid with.
    Just to disgress, I am experiencing for the second time (at different places) that 'people do not like the responsorial psalm chanted'; though never anyone complained that he/she didn't like it him-/herserlf. In the first instance it was the pastor who told me, and I suspected that the head of the lector groep was behind it; until she asked me why I had stopped chanting the psalm, which she liked, and I believe her. I made the mistake to go discuss the matter again, which (togehter with a few more items) finally lead to the end of my contract.
    In my present position I know that it's the liturgy commitee, so I just stop with the psalm (unless pastor asks questions).
    We began YM about 4-5 years ago and it was a huge success at the beginning, but eventually, the gimmicks like t-shirts, nonstop P&W, infantile preaching, etc. gave rise to a gradual decrease in participation. It is now seemingly difficult for them to get any member of the youth to participate in almost anything. And when they do, it's always the same people
    Same here, but when pastor believes that this is 'the future of our shrinking church', who am I to dispute?
    My own daughters still continue as altar servers and lectors in spite of zero spirtitual leadership from the parish; so I am told to "be proud of your model children" instead of complaining... how about those who should be called, but there is no actual calling?
    Father [...] asked if this person would be able to "convince me" to do contemporary music exclusively. [...] But the person whom he spoke with came to my defense and told him that there was no need for me to change anything, that the music is beautiful [...] This person also warned Father [...] that, should another position come up elsewhere, that I would be taking it [..] At the end of the day, being a volunteer, I have no real obligation to the church or to Father.
    Brave person! So you can be sure that your pastor knows what his demands can lead to.
    But if Father has the audacity to complain to me again about the music on Sunday, I will be giving my resignation effective the moment he speaks to me [...] I am not going to switch the style that I do to contemporary.
    With the latest conversation in mind that you heard of, you can sincerely tell him that you positively now that there are parishioners who like your music and, to take his own words as you cited above, that it does "help them pray".

    If he insists that you do "the songs that the other choirs do", then tell him that he should ask those to care for the music in your place, which they will certainly be happy to do.
    If he just continues to be vague about what exactly is wrong with your music, tell him that this is not a basis for you to continue your service to the parish.
    You might call this a 'time-out' rather than resigning even if you think that's it for 99%, in the end there is no contract to be broken. If you are happy enough to get a position elswhere later on, that's a plus!

    By the way, would there be any reason for not going to mass simply in the pews? I mean, you do it for the sacrament and not for the priest. The Eucharist remains the Eucharist.
  • By the way, would there be any reason for not going to mass simply in the pews? I mean, you do it for the sacrament and not for the priest. The Eucharist remains the Eucharist.

    Due to the extremely limited capacity and mandated reservation systems in place in Ontario churches, this is much more difficult than being "guaranteed" a place by means of providing music.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,723
    Just swat him in the face, Ace
    Slip out the back, Jack
    Then get on the bus, Gus
    And get yourself free.

    Fifty ways to leave your pastor.


    In all seriousness, these pastors who are not content and want to remake the parish often don't realize THEY are the problem. They tend to have a history of issues and problems wherever they are assigned leaving a trail of messes for someone else to clean up.

    You are not at fault, here. Get out for your own good. And don't take any more crap from this guy.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,270
    I am sorry you are dealing another one of the type of preist that sadly we seem to be very familiar with these days.I will pray for you and please, do take care of yourself. Also, i believe that with kind of personality it is useless to hope that they will change. You are being verbally abused and you have done nothing wrong. Take care of yourself.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,708
    Do keep us posted on this situation.
    And let us know, not 'if', but 'when' you have become free and unfettered.
    It's sad, of course, that you have given so much of yourself in the service of this church, and given much of musical and spiritual worth - all for free, yet! it is difficult to leave - but Greg is right{ The air will not change and you can only look forward to more abuse and ingratitude. In fact, the more abuse you take, the more of it will be given you.
  • So at this point I'm pretty sure I'm completely done. Tonight, I was informed, after a confession no less, that someone had complained to the Bishop and that I was not allowed to bring my singers in to do traditional music anymore.

    I am quite unsure of the veracity of this claim, and I have not seen a paper trail. I will be speaking to him tomorrow and demanding to see some sort of proof, and if I do not receive that proof, I will be quitting immediately.

    I am investigating the possibility of doing the Triduum at my upcoming job in collaboration with the outgoing DoM and my singers. It is looking likely. But please keep that in your prayers.

    I am deeply shocked and offended at this news, and despite continuing to hope in the future, my spirits are low and I am highly demotivated. Your prayers would be much appreciated.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,178
    Dear C.O., I'm so sorry to hear this. All you can do is shake the dust from your feet and move on. You've been casting pearls before swine for free and the best thing will be to stop. You should be offended, for you have been treated shabbily, which is a feeling many of us know too well.

    I don't know if you've had a chance to do it yet, but I still think it would be appropriate to try to get a recording of your work to find out if the complaints/criticisms hold any water whatsoever. Somehow, I suspect your work has been exemplary, which makes it all the more frustrating and unfair. May God bless you as you navigate these choppy waters.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,277
    This is so painful. I'm really sorry.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 588
    I agree with irishtenor in terms of professional self care.

    However, you need to remain clear inwardly - you have not been "casting pearls before swine." You've been casting worship before God.

    That, in the end, is what will remain, beyond either the joy or disappointment.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,708
    ...receive that proof, I will...immediately.
    Immediately? - yet again another 'immediately'? I can't believe that you are still giving, and giving, and giving him another, and another, and another chance. It would never occur to this man that he is being 'given another chance' or that you have anything to complain about, or that there is any intrinsic merit in your work, or that you even have feelings. There is a repetitive pattern here which can go on forever and will lead only to more abuse and yet another chance and another 'I will resign immediately if he...' again and again. What are you waiting for?

    Nihil is quite right, though - you have for free been 'casting pearls' before God and receiving nothing but abuse and zero appreciation for it. How many 'chances' are you going to give? And how many times are you going to 'resign immediately if.....'?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • That really sums up my reason to do it. I appreciate your prayers. That is why I go to Mass at all, precisely because I believe in the power of the sacraments despite Father's inappropriate treatment of me. If it had been a regular job of some sort, I would have left a long time ago. But there were enough people to convince me to stay.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Just to be clear, I am resigning effective tomorrow.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw janetgorbitz