21 October 2011


We have a parochial vicar from South America. This has been a problem for some people in the parish ever since he arrived.

"Why did they send us a hispanic priest?!" (Maybe because we have a huge hispanic community?)

"I can't understand him!" (Our sound system is lousy. Try sitting at the front of the church instead of at the very back! Also, some people can't understand your accent. Deal with it.)

"Father, are you coming to the Sodality dinner?"
"Um, I don't know. What is a Sodality?"
"And you call yourself a Catholic priest?!" (Yes, he's just not a native English speaker.)

"Why don't you go back to Mexico." (1. He's not from Mexico. 2. He'd like to go home, but he knows we need him here, because you didn't encourage your sons and nephews to think about becoming priests.)

And no, not all of these people are old. Clearly racism is still an issue here.


priest's wife said...

poor man! he will be in my prayers

My parents (Roman-rite) get priests from India a lot and our 'favorite' comes every summer from Nigeria- accents show that the Church is UNIVERSAL

(my husband has an accent)

and an accent shows that the person can speak more than one language

(I'm an ESL college instructor)

Jane said...

I know he will appreciate the prayers.

Yesterday, the Spanish-speaking community celebrated the feast of Our Lady of the Americas. There were people from almost every South and Central American country. The church was packed. Sometimes I think that most of the English-speakers at the parish think that the Spanish-speakers are a completely separate parish who happen to share the same building. It's a common enough problem, and not the worst argument for going back to Latin...