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  #11  
Old 11th February 2011, 08:41 PM
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A lot of priests have to work a secular job to make ends meet, especially priests of small missions. The retired bishop of the Diocese of the West (OCA) was very up front about telling priests who took those positions in missions were probably going to have to have another job to make ends meet. The priest of the mission about 2 hours away from where I am works a full time secular job testing computer software for one of the major software companies. His undergraduate degree is in computer science and he worked for them before going to seminary. He worked for them all during the time he was in seminary and has continued to work for them from home. He has three young children (the oldest just turned 10), and he wouldn't be able to support his family without that job. Thank God for priests who are willing to do this so that they can make a mission successful. Fr. does usually celebrate liturgy on the major feast days--they just have liturgy at 7:00am.

Damaris, in Montana, there is only one priest in town. We only have a few in the entire state, and they have to cover a wide area (they are Greek, OCA, and Serbian). In fact until the Greek parish in Missoula finally got a priest a few months ago, the Serbian priest in Butte was serving his parish, an OCA mission in Helena, and the Greek parish in Missoula. The poor man was doing a lot of traveling, as he was basically covering the entire western half of Montana. That was possible because all the bishops of the West meet together 4 times a year, and the bishops worked it out so that the Serbian priest could help serve those missions or parishes.

By the way, Dorothea, Fr. Laurence is from Billings and was a member of our parish. Tell him that we say hi!
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Last edited by katherine2001; 11th February 2011 at 08:48 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11th February 2011, 10:20 PM
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The priest who serves the little Antiochian parish in the country nearby has a secular job because his parish is so small that they need extra financial help.
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  #13  
Old 11th February 2011, 10:27 PM
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I've heard of it happening. I didn't know that anyone had a problem with it.
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  #14  
Old 11th February 2011, 10:37 PM
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A friend of mine was ordained a priest last spring and the bishop has yet to assign him to a parish. Therefor he helps out at various parishes and has kept his secular job. This priest is a model Christian and I often go to him instead of my actual parish priest for guidance on matters.
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  #15  
Old 12th February 2011, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by katherine2001 View Post
Damaris, in Montana, there is only one priest in town. We only have a few in the entire state, and they have to cover a wide area (they are Greek, OCA, and Serbian). In fact until the Greek parish in Missoula finally got a priest a few months ago, the Serbian priest in Butte was serving his parish, an OCA mission in Helena, and the Greek parish in Missoula. The poor man was doing a lot of traveling, as he was basically covering the entire western half of Montana. That was possible because all the bishops of the West meet together 4 times a year, and the bishops worked it out so that the Serbian priest could help serve those missions or parishes.
Yes, I know, that's why I said it's usually the case that a priest with secular employment isn't the only one in his town. They're also usually the last ones picked to be circuit riders. Sometimes that's not the case, as you've pointed out.

Others have mentioned that some priests are able to use vacation or flex time for feast days, but some of the priests I know aren't able to do that, and for their parishes it's either a Vesperal Liturgy or nothing.
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  #16  
Old 12th February 2011, 01:45 AM
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I think politics a special problem, and one that is rearing its head over here now. The identification of goals of the next world and this world tend to get blurred, and how non-Orthodox will see such a thing is also of serious concern.
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  #17  
Old 12th February 2011, 07:26 AM
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While there can be a time of exception in starting a new mission such that the priest takes secular employment, I don't think we should get too comfortable with the idea. I would think the ultimate goal is to get our priests fully supported by the parishes with a decent wage. As God's people it is our responsibility! Missions are the exception, of course.

My priest is part-time and he is an iconographer so the combination works for our little parish but from what I see the priest actually works full time on a part time wage. I think sometimes we abuse the situation and that is one of the dangers of a parish having a part-time priest.
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  #18  
Old 12th February 2011, 01:07 PM
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Hi Dixie! Great to see you!

Our priest used to have a job with the Diocese, so it wasn't exactly a "secular" job but we weren't able to support him financially until about 2 1/2 years ago, when he was able to drop his diocesan job and be our full-time priest (as if he wasn't already full-time!).

Mary
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  #19  
Old 12th February 2011, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ByzantineDixie View Post
While there can be a time of exception in starting a new mission such that the priest takes secular employment, I don't think we should get too comfortable with the idea. I would think the ultimate goal is to get our priests fully supported by the parishes with a decent wage. As God's people it is our responsibility! Missions are the exception, of course.

My priest is part-time and he is an iconographer so the combination works for our little parish but from what I see the priest actually works full time on a part time wage. I think sometimes we abuse the situation and that is one of the dangers of a parish having a part-time priest.
I agree. It really surprised me that at the OCA cathedral there was not one priest who was completely full time. Especially coming from a Protestant church where the pastor seemed to do far less (in terms of services and visits) and yet was supported fully.

M.
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We have eaten and drunk at His heavenly banquet, and can never again know the pinch of poverty. --St. Cyprian of Carthage


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  #20  
Old 12th February 2011, 03:25 PM
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Coming from Greece the phenomenon of working priest is somewhat new to me as the priests are full time civil servants ...
I am sure that maybe thing will change over there too...as finances will get difficult.
Thank you all for your responses
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For there is no coercion with God, but a good will [towards us] is present with Him continually. And therefore does He give good counsel to all. And in man, as well as in angels, He has placed the power of choice (for angels are rational beings), so that those who had yielded obedience might justly possess what is good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves. On the other hand, they who have not obeyed shall, with justice, be not found in possession of the good, and shall receive condign punishment: for God did kindly bestow on them what was good; but they themselves did not diligently keep it, nor deem it something precious, but poured contempt upon His super-eminent goodness.
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