As a priest if I decide that I no longer want to do something, such as work in a specific parish, do I have any say or is it all out of my hands?
You need to keep two ideas clearly in mind and in balance when it comes to your work assignments as a priest. The first is obedience to one’s Ordinary (bishop or religious superior). The second is representation. Ideally, both the Ordinary and the priest seek God’s will. For your Ordinary to make a good decision with regard to your mission, he needs to know you well. He should understand your wishes and desires and appreciate your gifts and talents as well as your weaknesses and limitations. He should take all of this into account when he assigns you to a particular location or ministry.
Of course you may have a good reason to request a particular appointment or to reject another. You should make your bishop or superior aware of your reasons, so he can take them into consideration in coming to his decision. The bottom line is that, because of your commitment to obedience, you should accept in faith his final decision. Nevertheless, the situation can always be revisited if new information or circumstances come to light.
Decisions once taken can be reviewed when new information or new insights emerge.
Most popular questions
- I feel I have a specific charism to youth outreach. Can I live this charism out as a priest, or must I follow the charism of the order I join?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- Why are there so many different religious organisations?
- The idea of public speaking is very challenging to me and I avoid it if possible. How can I be a priest when I hate public speaking?
- Why do I have to be celibate to be a priest?
- If I become a priest, will I be living with mostly elderly men?
- I hear my local priest say in his homily that there’s a shortage of priests in Ireland, is there really a shortage of priests?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- What if as a priest I need to take time out to care for a relative or family member?
- Would entering a religious community mean that I would have to sever my relationships with family and friends?