Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Day in the Life of A Rural Priest: Day One

Since I am asked regularly what a priest does, I thought I would share some photos of yours truly in action.
On Sunday, my day begins at 6:00 a.m. That's usually enough time to shower, shave, eat, and pray, as well as open the church and get ready for my first Mass at Meeker. I am available for confessions from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. and then Mass is at 9:00 a.m. After Mass at Meeker, I leap back into the Batmobile and head to Prague, my base of operations. After taking a moment to sort myself out, I head over to the parish church at Prague.
This is the first thing I see as I exit my home, our parish's religious education center. We recently had some renovations done to the place so it's looking spiffier than when I first arrived.

Today, at St. Wenceslaus, we celebrated our patron's feast day with Mass and a potluck supper. St. Wenceslaus Parish has been in existence for 120 years. Prague, OK began as a Czech settlement back in the 1880's. I think the town officially was incorporated after that time, but there has been a parish here since 1889. There are pictures in the parish archive that show downtown signage solely in Czech.

In the last 16 months since my arrival, I have been pressing the parish to reclaim its identity. You see, we are also the home to the National Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague. The shrine has been in existence for about 60 years and has brought many people great comfort and spiritual strength. The downside has been that the people's sense of what the parish's life is has been greatly diminished. It's a weird phenomenon that I don't entirely understand. One of the efforts then is to celebrate the things of the parish - hence a big party for the parish's feast day. Here you can see our parish hall and all the people enjoying food and fun.

The other motive for this fete is to show off the new RE building. We renovated this building rather than building something totally new. I would like to have built something new, but money and time weren't on our side. Actually, providentially, the housing bubble helped us more than hurt us. I can't imagine trying to pull off a loan and the financing now. We'll have to bide our time. I don't have a before image for comparison but it's pretty low key. This is the same place where we have some of our parish meetings and RCIA.

Okay, and because some of you remember only a supersized me, here is the current edition of the slimmed down Ragemonkey. The beard is new and with less face, I actually have more beard. I don't always recognize myself, so don't be surprised if you don't.

As a point of comparison, this is from a couple of years ago while I was loafing around the rectory in Alva with Fr. Hamilton behind the camera.

Speaking of RCIA, I have to get up and get ready for our session at 7:00 p.m. I have notes but my brain is crispy after today, so dinner first and then off to class. Cheers.


[ s ] said...


Fr. Philip Powell, OP said...

WOW!!! OK, what's the secret? And you had better not say, "Pray the rosary..." :-(

Fr. Philip, OP