When a priest leads, he can make such a transformative difference. Priests have many roles. They celebrate, they administer, they guide, but one of them is to lead. To help their congregation live with a compelling and powerful vision of who they can be as a community, as a body, to help them commit to that vision, and to align everything towards that. Sometimes the pressures for time and perhaps their own skills, prevent them from realizing their leadership potential. But when they do, they can really transform a community.
The Hispanic community of my church had a part time priest that could only give the church a day a week. He did what he could and was able to establish deep relationships with some families and to encourage and guide us through mass and confession. The Hispanic ministry functioned with the hep of a handful of us and a wonderful sister. A couple of months ago we received a new priest from Mexico. He is able to give us 3-4 days a week.
He met with us, the few volunteers, to learn more about who we are and what we do. He listened to the needs of the community. Instead of immediately start planning activities and creating lists of to dos, he did something differently. He started to give of himself to the core and to educate. We started to get together every Saturday morning for 2-3 hours. He covered with us pastoral letters on evangelization and on communities. He covered the Sacrosanctum Concilium from Vatican II and we discussed the importance and sacredness of liturgy. Although he prepared and lead the discussions, we had real discussions and learned about each other and the Church. Little by little the core group has increased in size and it's now 15 people, many of them couples. You can feel the fire of the Holy Spirit beginning to stir in our hearts as a group. Yesterday we finished our meeting with a potluck with all our families and kids, while the priest entertained us playing guitar and singing fun "party" songs.
Before you know it, wonderful ministries will emerge, not because "Father said so," but because as a people we will be moved to act with faith. How wonderful when a priest leads! May God bless priests and leaders everywhere!
Technorati Tags: Servant-Leadership