Wednesday, October 15, 2008

COMFORT?


There are several priests who I just love. I've had the joy of working with them here in the parish, and have been blessed to have these men in my life, and in the lives of my children. (Each of my adopted children have a priest as their godfather.)

Anyway, one of these dear men (now stationed in a far-distant parish) seemed to not believe me when I explained how this parish merger was resulting in my losing my job. He insisted on talking to our present pastor himself. Afterwards, he was clearly upset. He expressed in an e-mail to me how he thought things should be handled differently. Apparently, he realized that he had not been of too much comfort, and he e-mailed me again:

I am certain that God is going to be faithful to you who have been sofaithful to Him. Do not be afraid. and he went on to be way more complimentary than I deserve: Your life's work has been a beautiful fragrance rising before thethrone of God. Your life's work has been to sow many seeds (and even reap some fruit) of the Gospel. How many children, and so many others have been touched by the Holy Spirit through your work? Eternity will be endless reflection on the mystery of what God has done with so many through you.




The point of sharing that, though, is that I showed it to my colleague (also headed for the guillotine) and we both had the same response (thank heaven we have a sense of humor, too): This sounds just like what you'd write to someone who just got the fatal diagnosis!




And, honestly, his kindness did take me one step futher into realizing that it seems like my life really is likely to change. If he'd gotten the impression that everything was going to "be all right" he certainly would have told me so (rather than doing the retrospective!)




In a previous post I revealed how I am struggling with this realization. This week, though some tears, and actual fear-inspired nausea, I went a little further yet. And, I know there is still further to go. What a painful year this will be!




What I can't quite get over is the feeling that they ought to just TELL US. Since the new pastor knows all the present staff both in his own parish and here, surely he has a very good idea of who he wants to work with. JUST TELL US. False hope is crazy, but so is spending all this time agonizing over the various possibilities. I am getting quite close to deciding to ask for a meeting with this "pastor to be". I want to ask some basic questions (and can you believe that these things have not been shared with us?)




1) If new job descriptions are ready in January, when will interviews and decisions be made?
2) Are there going to be national searches for these positions?
3) Is there any advantage/disadvantage for present staff in the hiring process?
4) Would a present staff member applying for a position in the new parish have any hope of receiving the salary to which they are accustomed?

Really, I just want to ask - if I was your sister, what would you advise me to do?




What do you all think? Does it sound inappropriate to ask these questions?




Meanwhile, our present pastor told us all to sign up for a day-long workshop:


Being Pastoral Agents of Change. Frankly, give me a break! I'm supposed to go learn to be enthusiastic about losing my job? And, as far as being "pastoral" - apparently they are not interested in my being pastoral anymore. I really do not get it.






12 comments:

Rachael said...

I think it is very reasonable of you to ask your questions.

Meanwhile...are you formulating a back up plan? They can't just leave you in limbo, and not expect you to consider other options...

Tina in CT said...

I agree with Rachel.

Ginny said...

I would definitely ask the questions. I wouldn't be able to help myself. I also would be irritated by that workshop.

MamaPoRuski said...

It never hurts to ask. Although, they can leave you in limbo until the day of the merger. Not ethical but certainly legal...that was my cynical outside voice talking...but don't ask THEM, ask God to tell you what you should do and when you should do it. Praying for God's peace and clear direction; We do not have a spirit of fear but the spirit of ADOPTION where we can cry out "DADDY FIX IT!" (Mama's Amplified version)Praying your big bad heavenly daddy busts a few heads on your behalf...

pearly1979 said...

I too think you have some very reasonable questions there. I am so sorry this entire thing is happening. I can tell from your posts that you world is just spinning.

We were in Michigan for a funeral this past weekend and it was held at the parish where one of your favorite priests is now (we have talked about it before). I was very much hopeing he would do the funeral but my mother-in-law said he just left on a trip to Italy.

crispy said...

Rachael is right...

Sorry it is hard right now.

Annie said...

Sarah! I am SO sorry that you didn't get to meet Fr. Steve! He is tremendous....but yes; he is leading a pilgrimage.

Annie said...

mamaporuski - It doesn't seem right to me either. Perhaps that is why I keep thinking that they must really mean to keep us all. Otherwise - how COULD they? Well....OK.... I'll see how the question-asking goes. I expect that I'll have to come away with a strong feeling one way or the other.

MoscowMom said...

I think those questions are absolutely appropriate and I can't believe they didn't tell you that information as soon as they announced the merger! All the while, they expect you to enthusiastically go through Christmas without knowing??!!! And that conference? Come on...!!!!

Fioleta said...

I think you have a right to ask questions. I also think it is unfair to all of you and unnecessary to stretch out the process for so long.

I agree with Rachael on having a back up plan. Maybe you'll be able to find another great place where you can use your skills and feel satisfied with the work you do (school? adoption agency? something else?)

All the best to you.

MyGirlElena said...

I have been in your shoes and agree that you have every right to ask those questions. I strongly believe that there is something much better out there for you, though. I remember you once wrote how you wanted to go back to teaching. Maybe this will be your opportunity. I know you must be worried thinking of your financial and health care situation, but there must be some good coming from all of this.

Christine said...

I too agree with Rachael.