• canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,478
    How much communication do you have with your priest?
    What would be the ideal amount of communication for you?
    Do you have the ideal in your position?
    How would you achieve this?
  • In my experience, when there are communication issues between pastor and DM, both parties bear some level of responsibility. My pastor is insanely busy, but we have time to communicate with each other effectively. Usually it's a quick text, email, or phone call. If I need a longer period of time to discuss multiple or more complex issues, I schedule an appointment with his secretary. Do your pastor a favor and keep your communication brief and to the point. He's busy. Don't waste his time with things he doesn't care about. Good communication doesn't need to be long and drawn out. Get to the point and move on. You're both busy.

    Good communication with your pastor isn't difficult, but both parties need to be invested in a good working relationship to make it work.
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  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,478
    Thanks Adam. I wasn't implying that there was a problem, just wanted to know how others communicate because, yes, they are busy, as am I. With Christmas underway, I was curious as to whether people had a dialogue before or after a feast to make sure all are on the same page.
  • Ally
    Posts: 226
    Adam, do you mean that as a DM or a director of music AND liturgy?

    Possibly because of the nature of my position at the parish, I would think that we should talk each week in person, even if briefly, about things liturgical, and then I send follow-up emails about the detailed things (like when there are options for readings).

    In the past, I have has that "as needed" communication, especially before the big feasts (just walk down the hall and ask) and regularly scheduled meetings (monthly, or so, to keep up with the liturgical calendar).
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  • Ally
    Posts: 226
    Adam, do you really schedule the appointment with the secretary?
    I guess I've always just asked the pastor himself for an appointment. Our secretary is not only for the pastor though.
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  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    I'm not a DM, but I cantor and sing completely separate music at one of the Masses, so you could say I'm a DM-of-sorts for that one little Mass. :)

    It also depends on the pastor. He's not quick on email, so if I need something, I usually ask him after my confession (I go weekly, usually outside the normal confession hours, so he's kind of available to chat), or just call him. That's my personal experience.
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  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,669
    It depends entirely on the situations. I've worked for some priests that I've had lunch/dinner/drinks with at least weekly, and some I avoided like the plague and both ended up just fine. It depends on the person, the parish, etc.
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  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,669
    Also on the point of scheduling with the priest vs with the secretary - some priests have extremely busy schedules and if the secretary doesn't have it on her calendar, he won't remember. Know your priest.
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  • TCJ
    Posts: 787
    My priest has no time before or after Mass to talk aside from, perhaps, five minutes, so unless it's just a quick question, I don't discuss anything with him face-to-face. Any real planning is done by email.
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  • donr
    Posts: 969
    I have a pretty good relationship with our pastor, he lets me know if he is satisfied or dissatisfied with anything. E-mail is generally the best way to get a hold of him.
    However if I want face time. I stop him before or after Mass or I set an appointment with the secretary.
    We have 4 music leadership meetings per year (Each mass has a different leader) and the pastor comes and gives his opinion to us or makes changes at that time. He understands that we are all volunteers so he tries to make time for us.
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  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    I have a pretty good situation with my current pastor. It's a very small church, so he isn't as busy as other priests I've worked with. The previous organist left b/c he and the pastor couldn't get along, and while I can see why, I'm so far taking the approach of just going along with what the pastor wants (which is easy b/c I almost never disagree with him,) so we have fine communication. I just call his cell phone which he either answers, or calls me back right away whenever I have a question, and vice versa. So it totally works for us.

    Whereas, I am thinking of a friend of mine, who while not the "music director," he is the primary organist at a very large parish, he could not even get a meeting with the pastor when he emailed him to discuss about a pay raise. (This pastor really likes "chains-of-command," as a way of dealing with minimizing the amount of people he has to deal with.)
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,469
    I attend a liturgy committee meeting once a month, but am often in and out of the church office. If I need to know something, I either ask then, or in the sacristy on Sunday morning. The pastor seems to appreciate being asked.
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  • I'm just music. Every pastor is going to be different. For some, a weekly meeting is best. For others, just whenever you need to chat works. Yes, the secretary keeps his schedule. Our parish is insanely active, and I think that, with all he has to do and how much of it involves other people, he might go nuts if he had to keep his own schedule. Having someone else keep his schedule opens him up more to do pastoral work. However, not every priest is like that. Some prefer to keep their own schedules.
    Thanked by 2canadash Ally
  • When I started at the current church I'm at, the pastor thought I was just a 22 year old who didn't know liturgy. While I admit I don't know every thing about liturgy, I tend to think I know a decent amount. I would pick out hymns and then he would say oh let's use this instead!! So annoying!! Prime example is the last Easter he was pastor there, I had The Strife is O're as processional hymn and then Jesus Christ is Risen Today (Easter Hymn Tune) as preparation. He said JCIRT must be entrance hymns and he wanted join in the dance as offertory. He was not the best music liturgist. Now being 26 and a new pastor is there (much younger at 36) he said to me " you're paid to be music director, I'm paid to be pastor, I trust your decision and support you 100% with what you want." So it has been a very good relationship from a pastor employee POV. We have been able to get an upright piano put into the sanctuary and the pipe organ working in the loft again. I used the pipe organ for the first Xmas at the parish in 15 years and it sounded great. The congregation has been very happy to hear the pipe organ. Hopefully they will help with funds when we need to do some maintainance to the pipe organ at the beginning of the new year!!
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  • jpal
    Posts: 365
    Primarily communicate by text and email as needed, and in passing in the office. They are busy and trust me, so we don't bother with week to week stuff. Schedule meetings directly with them for big stuff (e.g., Christmas Masses, getting a new organ, etc.). By now I know when they would have an opinion on something, so I ask those questions as they arise. This works great for us.