Guys! You know who you are in the black shirts with the little squares on the collars. Yeah, you. Listen up!
It's time to start acting like priests not like employees of the diocese. You have a vocation that is far greater than any other. We need you! Not just on Sunday and not during the week between 9 am and 5 pm. We need you all the time.
We call you "Father" because that is what you are. You are celibate so that you can care for us, your family, without depriving a family borne of your flesh. You have adopted us through ordination, but so often we feel abandoned. Care for us!
We call for a priest when a loved one with dying with the hope of having a priest come with the grace of the Sacraments to comfort, heal, and lead that person into eternal life.
We call for a priest when we are struggling with our faith, our lives, our bodies with the hope of experiencing the everpresent love of God.
What parent would tell a child "Sorry, I can't see you now. Office hours are from 9-5. Come back later." Businesses have office hours, families do not.
Life is messy! It's not 9-5.
I'm not bedrudging you of a day off or time to yourself. You need that and have a right to it. You have to care of yourself or you will never be able to care for us, but remember that we call you "Father" for a reason.
Care for each other as well. There are priests among you who need your support and help. It shouldn't matter what you think of them personally. You don't have to like their personality or style, but try to see beyond that to the brother that lies within.
When your brother priest is ill, visit him. When he needs support, listen to him. When he needs some time off, help him out. Businesses are cut-throat, families assist.
We need to all start thinking more like a family than like a business.