Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ask Priest's Wife 2...More Quick Takes

Click over to my first post for more answers to my survey questions.
I'll answer these questions as quickly as possible, but look for longer posts inspired by your questions- thanks to everyone who participated at

How do you make friends at church?
I try to be a friend to all. But in all truthfulness, church is not the best place to have a close personal friend because of the conflict of interest- if that makes sense...I see myself as a minister at church, not someone to have people ministering to me.
What was the hardest change when your second child arrived?
There are only 51 weeks between my first two children. I would say that it wasn't that big of an adjustment because my husband took over nighttime duties with the big baby while I would take care of the new baby. I did get ill a year after #2 was born, so maybe my body did have trouble dealing with the change. 
What do you "miss" about the Roman rite? I realize you feel at home in the Byzantine, but is there anything you miss about when you were exclusively Roman? No knowing the differences, it's just curiosity.
This would make a good long post...but to keep it quick, I miss the Holy Week Masses of the Roman-rite. I love the Byzantine-rite's Holy Week as well, but it is hard knowing I might never be at the 'old' Masses again. Holy Week is just too busy to go visiting and doing supplemental Masses.
What insight does being the wife of a priest bring to the sometimes controversial Roman practice of celibate priests?
 Another good idea for a long post- one thing that quickly comes to mind- celibacy needs to be as much a part of an unmarried priest's vocation as the priesthood. He should discern celibacy as a positive choice and then priesthood; he shouldn't decide to be a priest and then figure that he can 'handle' celibacy. Does that make sense? These old posts of mine might give you more ideas of where I stand on the subject.
How do I get a busy 6 year old girl to sit through a 2 hour service :)
If she isn't used to church, you will have to go slowly. If it is a 2 hour service, I assume that you are adding vespers or matins to the Divine Liturgy. Maybe you can start with 'only' going to the Divine Liturgy. That should cut it down to no more than 1.5 hours. Keep it positive. Give her a cheese stick right before Mass so she doesn't crash during the homily. By six years old, she should be singing all the people's parts. This makes it much more interesting. Blame it on me when you start insisting that she sing ;)
I'm curious how you decided to homeschool and also to keep your children more sheltered from the secular world than most American children are.
I've never liked the idea of the state deciding what was important to know. Homeschooling gives more flexibility (not that I don't use text books and get advice from 'experts'). And I suppose my children are more sheltered than the typical child, but I am trying to be balanced enough that there won't be huge bitterness and rebellion when they are older- wish me luck! I am all for age-appropriateness and letting children enjoy their innocence. But compared to some of my friends, we are 'liberal' and then to some I am hyper-traditional. For example, my girls wear one-piece suits (sometimes with skirt or shorts) but not bikinis or full 'modest' cover-ups with suit, shirt and shorts at all times. I let my 13 and 12 year old watch The Pursuit of Happyness when some of my readers here were scandalized that they had seen The Sound of Music. I guess you can't win them all, but I think we have found a pretty good middle ground for our family.

How are you doing these days? (this is ______ formerly from oak view) I miss you and your family and pray for you.
Thanks for the prayers! We need them and miss you- any new baby on the horizon?

What is your favorite part of the expression of the faith ?
I have many favorites, but right now the prayer before we receive the Eucharist in the Byzantine-rite comes to mind.... "O Lord, I believe and profess that you are truly Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. Accept me as a partaker of your mystical supper, O Son of God; for I will not reveal your mystery to your enemies, nor will I give you a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief I confess to you: Remember me, O Lord, when you shall come into your kingdom. Remember me, O Master, when you shall come into your kingdom. Remember me, O Holy One, when you shall come into your kingdom. May the partaking of your Holy Mysteries, O Lord, be not for my judgment or condemnation, but for the healing of soul and body. O Lord, I also believe and profess that this, which I am about to receive, is truly your most precious Body and your life-giving Blood, which, I pray, make me worthy to receive for the remission of all my sins and for life everlasting. Amen."
Could you elaborate more on your faith practices so those of us who are not of your Eastern Faith can learn more about it.?
You might click on the 'Divine Liturgy Mondays' label to your right to learn about our Mass. Here are some other links- Holy Resurrection Monastery-- a similar question on the Catholic Answers forum-- information on the Byzantine rite of the Catholic Church-- Eastern Catholic Spiritual Renewal-- a little history...
Where does your patience for parishioners come from?
First of all, I need more charity and patience! Pray for me! But when I do a good job it is because I try to follow the Lord's Prayer. We must forgive those if we want God to forgive us. Also, if someone is truly rude, I play a little game and try to imagine why on earth that person did/said that...maybe he is rushing off to fix a broken water main, maybe she is in labor, maybe she never got a birthday cake as a child and is now obsessed with providing them for everyone in her life...
What is your best resource for encouragement or inspiration as a priest's wife? Do you have a favourite book or blog or speaker?
I usually read mommying and homeschooling books and blogs. My overall homemaking-with-a-dash-of-Catholic blog is Like Mother, Like Daughter. For theology, I have been learning a lot from The Fathers Know Best by Jimmy Akin and On Marriage and Family Life by St John Chrysostom. Another perfect book for every lay person is Introduction to the Devout Life by St Francis de Sales. Sometimes I will try to find encouragement from Protestant or Orthodox sources because there are more Protestant and Orthodox clergy wives, but it really isn't for me. I usually feel ignored, so it is best to just use Catholic sources even if they can't understand or fulfill my unusual niche.
My husband is studying to be a deacon, and we have 2 young boys (2.5 and 1.5) right now. We will God-willing have more children also. Right now, because of their age, church is a battle. I honestly don't know how I would handle it if my husband was a deacon right now. I know the time will probably come where I am with them in the pew alone. Eventually, they will be able to serve and we do have help from other members. However I do not expect others to discipline my kids. My fear is being w/o my husband and having two misbehaving kids by myself - major embarrassment to me. Not a big fan of cry rooms which is great b/c we don't have one! Just wondering if you have experienced with this and if you have any advice?
I'm going to answer this one on Monday....

Would it be awkward if I asked how soon, if dating a Latin Rite girl, the subject of priesthood ought to come up, for those discerning? 
This is a tough one! If you are eighteen and are going out to coffee and movies with a girl with no physical and emotional ties, you don't owe her an explanation that you might be thinking of a celibate life.  If you are a college graduate and dating a woman you could take home to mom, you need to tell her right away. Then, she will guard her heart. But perhaps you should discern celibacy/the priesthood before you look around for Mrs Right? I just know a few men that got out of dating relationships with the "I'm discerning" excuse and then got married to another woman a year later. Honesty is the best policy here! Maybe Holy Resurrection Monastery can help. maybe some comments in the combox would help- I really don't have a perfect answer here.

What are the most difficult and the most awesome things about being a priest's wife?
Click on the 'disappointed' and 'loss' labels to your right to read about the difficult things. And then read the other posts for the awesome things! 


  1. PW,

    Just taking a stab at that first to last question but I believe the young lad in question appears to be an EC who is discerning the married priesthood but is dating a RC. Thanks for the interesting post!

  2. Firstly, I stumbled upon here, via Catherine Alexander's blog link; read the description; and was surprised. This aside, it was great meeting you, and Father, at St. Irene's. I hope all is well.

    I have to say, I felt the depth of the prayer said before communion, at the very first liturgy I attended, in the last Sunday of June, this year. The other communion prayer, or hymn rather, I've grown fond of quickly is the "...we mystically represent the cherubim; and sing thrice the holy hymn, of the life-creating trinity; now, set aside all earthly cares..." It just sets an indescribable tone for me.

    On the points of the priesthood, I'll keep your pointers in mind, as I'm discerning a call, many thanks to a chain of hints, starting with my own parents; and a round of parishioners, both at the Roman rite church I've historically gone, since moving to Oregon, in 2011; and the fellow parishioners at St. Irene's. I still remember what we talked about: the Holy Resurrection Monastery. I'm kind of waiting to see if, and when, they'll settle on a retreat date. But, I'm in no rush.

    Thanks, for this blog, and many years :)


    1. Lester- Hi there! I'm glad you are in talks with Holy resurrection Monastery- it will be a wonderful experience no matter what God ends up telling you about your vocation


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