FrMichael had a comment on the Mercy in Ministry post.
As a pastor, it’s a tough balancing act trying to set working hours for staff that lets them have a family life, yet serve working parishioners.
If so, the act is more burdened by outdated expectations.
In my last parish, the daily Mass was at noon, and meetings dominated the evening hours. Evenings were far busier than mornings, yet our knowledgeable and competent receptionist kept 9-to-5 hours like we were a business in a non-university community. And not having a pro in the office before and after weekend Mass times: that’s been a head-scratcher as long as I’ve been in ministry.
Church ministers certainly work evenings and weekends. That’s an expectation of connecting with parishioners and groups–not to mention at liturgy. Maybe the vision for secretaries, receptionists, and custodians needs to widen into ministry, not just keeping up appearances in an office while the rest of the professional world might be in their cubicles.
If I were a pastor coming into a parish, in my second year, I’d assess availability for existing staff. I’d rather be paying an office pro for 35 or even 32 hours on a full week’s salary if that work time included some evenings plus weekend Mass times.
The Church is often slow to adapt and serve, but too often the people we serve have equally low expectations. Both ways, not good.