Recently I met a woman from our former parish in the grocery store. It was great to see her, but sad to hear that not much has changed in that parish. It seems the tyranny of the "king" continues.
The pastor has no people skills and it seems odd to even type that. How can you be a priest/pastor and not have people skills you might ask? I have no idea. Can it be taught in the seminary? And why would anyone want to become a priest if, at minimum, they found it difficult to handle the many personalities of a parish?
And what is the archdiocese doing about it? Nothing. The woman told me that people have complained, but the king remains. I know the answer to that one: There's no one to replace him.
So at that parish, they struggle to carry on. It is a shell of it's former self. The school was closed years ago, the collection is way down, events and activities are infrequent because everything has to get by the king. When an event does manage to get planned and executed, the king's critique is always at the ready to tear down the minions who worked their butts off to put it together.
My friend asked how my husband and I are doing. I told her we found a new parish where we are currently singing and that we have been welcomed and we are very happy there. "And," she added, "you're appreciated."
It seems like such a small thing, but those two words have meant everything to my husband and I and to our ministry.
As for the "kings," there's not a lot we can do. Pray, I suppose. Or leave the parish.
My husband and I left, and though it was painful at first, it was worth every moment to be where we are now.