About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
Connect on Facebook:
Connect on Twitter:
“It was a riveting adventure to move by degrees into the mysterious world of the Liturgy which was being enacted before us and for us there on the altar. It was becoming more and more clear to me that here I was encountering a reality that no one had simply thought up, a reality that no official authority or great individual had created. […] Not everything was logical. Things sometimes got complicated and it was not always easy to find one’s way. But precisely this is what made the whole edifice wonderful, like one’s own home.”
— Josef Cardinal Ratzinger (“Milestones” pp. 19-20) 1997

   Send an E-mail to Dr. Ronda Chervin, Ph.D.
Attitudes toward Ministry
published 1 January 2013 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

A priest who teaches seminarians was giving a lecture to them about wrong ways to minister. I happened to sit in on the class and I took notes on points that seemed to me to apply not only to priests but to all Catholics in leadership.

To summarize some of the points made:

The priest is a mediator between the people and God out of love, not out of power. He is not “the king of kings,” but the footwasher.

He will not be afraid that his weaknesses will be manifest, but, instead, should evangelize through his weaknesses as a wounded healer not as the judge; listening to what they say and what they don’t say. [I didn’t take this to mean that the priestly ministry does not include teaching and judging in the confessional, etc. but that these should not be done either out of a sense of power but out of love.] The pastor should not make it seem as “if you disagree with me, you are in trouble.” He should not appear as a know-it-all. Some priests seem like giants of intellect but dwarves in the heart.

If the priest realizes that he has been wounded, then he puts himself in the shoes of those also wounded. He should not think of others as sick and dysfunctional, but as vulnerable brothers. They are dealing with their hurt. The Church is not a democracy, but also not an aristocracy. The middle ground is ministry of love.