A day in the life

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article here that outlined a day in the parish. I recently did another one for the parish newsletter. Many wonder what the priest does outside of Mass, so I thought I would share a recent “day in the life.”

Monday June 8, 2015

5 a.m. Liturgy of the Hours — 

This is my favorite time of the day. There isn’t much happening at 5 a.m., so it is a perfect time to grab some coffee and spend the first hour of my day praying the Liturgy of the Hours. The Liturgy of the Hours (also referred to as the Breviary) is a collection of prayers that are prayed throughout the day by priests and religious. We are required to pray certain hours, but the Church recommends that all the faithful make at least one of the Hours part of their daily prayer routine. The Hours are: Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Daytime prayer (which is also broken down into midmorning, midday, and midafternoon), Evening Prayer and Night Prayer. It is a Liturgy, meaning that when I pray one of these Hours I am praying with the entire Church. 

7 a.m. Parish Office — 

Need to print out the Prayer of the Faithful. While I’m here a quick check of the email, voicemails and see what the calendar looks like. Doesn’t look like it’s too crazy of a day.

Now over to the church to set up the Missal (the book containing the prayers for Mass) and get ready for Mass at 7:30 a.m.

7:30 a.m. Mass. 

8 a.m. Meetings at 8 and 9 a.m. — 

This morning I have two meetings with two staff members. We are discussing aspects of the parish convocation (a process of self-assessment and identifying the challenges and needs of the parish community), some of the issues that are facing the parish and some new initiatives.

10:15 a.m. Mass at the Bourne Manor — 

Once a month I celebrate Mass at the Bourne Manor. I do the same for Cape Cod Senior Residences. Both facilities are visited each week by a team of volunteers from St. John the Evangelist. They lead a prayer service and bring Communion to our brothers and sisters who cannot join us at Mass. The livestream is utilized by both facilities as well. 

This morning on my way to the Bourne Manor I spoke with Deacon Frank Lucca at UMass Dartmouth. Orientation begins today so we are going over the schedule for the day as well as a couple of points in regards to planning for the fall semester.

11:15 a.m. — 

Back at the parish. First a phone call to Father Jeff Cabral. Father Jeff and I are going to lead a pilgrimage to Rome next May. We are going over some details in the flyer so we can get that out. Also a phone call to the chancery. I need to check on something with the Finance Office.

11:30 a.m. Need to touch base with Patty (parish secretary) and with Crystal (youth and young adult ministry). No major issues this morning. Some discussions about some new initiatives and planning for the summer and fall. (Need to be vague here, sorry!)

12:15 p.m. Lunch — 

Running home to grab a quick lunch and pray midday prayer. A call to Kelley (business/finance)to go over some financial items and issues. Also a conversation on (you guessed it!) some of the initiatives we are looking at and the financial considerations. 

Before I go I need to begin some prep for Sunday’s homily. I looked over the readings quickly last night. Now to look over them again and see what words or phrases stand out. I will also try to identify some possible topics and issues from the readings. In addition, what are some the things I’ve come across in town and my interactions with people. I will be reflecting on whether there something in the readings that address those situations. Tonight at Evening Prayer I will begin the process of lectio divina. This is a style of praying with the Scriptures. It helps me come to a deeper understanding of the texts. Often the homily idea comes from those prayer experiences and is often different than what I was originally thinking. I will also spend some time this week reading Biblical commentaries on the texts. Towards the end of the week, when I have a better idea where things are going, I will also read relevant texts from the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” and some theology books. If all goes well, I should have a rough draft written out by Friday night. It will be edited a couple more times before the Saturday 4 p.m. Liturgy and between that Mass and the Sunday 8 a.m. Mass.

1:30 p.m. Off to UMass Dartmouth. 

2:30 p.m. At UMD —  

Spend some time going over things with Deacon Frank before an afternoon event.

4 p.m. Reception with Parents — 

We join other university staff for a reception held for parents of incoming students. Today and tomorrow is orientation for those incoming students to the school of business. This is a chance for the parents to meet us, ask any questions, and learn about our department. Tomorrow morning we will be with the students at breakfast so they can learn who we are and what we offer. 

5:30 p.m. Leaving campus — 

Forgot that I have to work on a presentation with Father Jeff at Christian Leadership Institute, a week-long leadership development course offered by the Diocese of Fall River for high school students. They learn various leadership skills that will help them now and in the future. It is a program that stands out on college applications and resumes. Sending a text to Father Jeff before I head out. D’oh! Text isn’t sending. I’ll figure it out at home.

6:30 p.m. Home — 

Finally got the text out to Father Jeff. We will meet up Wednesday night for dinner and go over the presentation. I will need to take some time before that to go over it myself. Now time for Evening Prayer and then dinner. Tonight I need to work on a couple of letters and articles as well. Thankful that I have tomorrow off!

Anchor columnist Father Frederici is pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Pocasset and diocesan director of Campus Ministry and Chaplain at UMass Dartmouth and Bristol Community College.

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