Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Bishops and priests, thanks to Pope Francis, are now under serious scrutiny for how they spend their money an the money given to the Church, where they live and the amount of money that it takes to build their digs.

The media and very rich Catholics and not so rich ones too, don't want priests living with $100 Million views or extravagant furniture or steak to eat. They want their priests to suffer in dark dingy cavern like rectories, driving Yugos and eating at Krystal's. (Don't get me wrong, I love Krystal's!)

So here is my confession in pictures. Where shall I go, this Son of Man's priest has a place to lay his head, but for how long when this goes viral?

This is my bathroom (I only have one personal one and yes the toilet is flushed!)
This is my bedroom, nothing exciting happens in here except sleep and insomnia.
This is my sitting room, next to my bedroom (I only have two rooms) and the furniture in both rooms is not mine but belongs to the parish, except for the buffet that belonged to my mother and was in our dining room at home. It was purchased from Sears around 1962 for about $75 and to think that the gift to my mother could have been money given to the poor. Oh, wait, we were poor then by today's standards!
 This is my office. It is on the main floor and all of the parish offices are there, two others for the two other priests, one for Administrator, whose office is nicer than mine, by the way, but I digress and two other offices for the secretary and bookkeeper along with a parlor and waiting room.
And now for the true scandal and why I will be forced to move out of the rectory, sell  it and move into something without a $30 Million view! Yes, this is the view from my bedroom and sitting room! Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea MAXIMA CULPA!
And finally, this is where I live, on the right of this ornate Church, which the money could have been spent on the poor, not this building, after all Mass could be in a warehouse and the money saved for the poor and next to it my rectory which also houses the parish's offices. It is three floors and each of the three priests have a bedroom, a bathroom and a sitting room on the third floor which is exclusively residential and with offices on the second floor with lay staff and dining room and kitchen on the below ground level. What a scandal to say the least!


Pater Ignotus said...

Haven't I heard of a house you own in another Georgia city... ?

No place to lay you head? Awwwwwwwwww.........

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It's my mother's house and I continue to visit her there on my day off and vacation time. When I die, her home will be a flee market.

Anonymous said...

Three sets of towels????

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Look again actually 5 sets! No towel closet.

Rood Screen said...

[Sarcasm alert] Yeah, too many towels, too many lamps, too many cushions in the furniture, too many rugs on the floor, too many slats in the mini-blinds, etc. Such opulence! There are kindergartners in your school taking naps on the floor at this very moment, while their priest posts such images of a most comfortable cama! Disgrace, I say, disgrace! You should begin by removing every other drawer from your chest of drawers and give them to the needy who lack enough drawers in their furniture. Hurry, before parishioners arrive with pitchforks and torches!

Seriously, I think you, your vicar and Pater Ignotus should get an apartment together. [Okay, that's more sarcasm]

Anonymous said...


WSquared said...

Father, there's living in a simple way with what you've been given-- how we steward rightly. You can only lead by example with what you've been given, knowing that the fact that Catholicism loves paradox will allow you to mix it up and blow people's minds.

It's something we all have to think about, and it's about being receptive to true treasure.

I once had a homestay with a Jewish family, and what was eye-opening about them was that they are pretty well-off, but warm, kind, and truly generous-- they put God first, and I could sense that no matter how much they had, their lives were never primarily about their "stuff" and acquiring more of it. They knew I was Catholic, and respected me for it. Looking back, I think the Lord used them-- among many things-- to bring me back to the Church.

While no priest or parish should go overboard with its spending (we might also note that we can spend tons on the hideous peddled under designer labels and masquerading as art, sophistication, and much else...), there's more than a little disingenuity in the way we talk about "the poor," as well as how many of us scream "we are Church!" re what we "feel" or "think" should "change," but seem to ignore that if it's at least partially true that "we are Church," the onus of a "Church of the poor" is also on us.

Along with "we are Church" when it comes to "change," note that re "hard teachings," it's "Let Father Do It!" Calling a beautiful altar "hypocrisy" while thinking a glittering shopping mall "progress" or not blinking at the vulgar and inane excess of the Superbowl Halftime Show is just B.S.

There are enough leadership problems in the hierarchy and clergy, to be sure. But Catholics who can barely steward their own families, whose lifestyles at home would probably undermine even the best catechesis, should button it about "poor leadership," since that charge also arguably applies to ourselves and what we've been given.

A rich life isn't for sale, and style and substance aren't about fashion and price tag. How does a Hans Urs Von Balthasar or a Bl. August Cardinal Graf von Galen or a St. Katharine Drexel come from rich families while a Joseph Ratzinger comes from a much poorer one, and yet all nonetheless live(d) rich lives and give/gave so much?

We have a culture that is poor and hungry for being gorged to the gills. It isn't just a culture that doesn't know how to give; it doesn't know how to receive, either. Something Pope Benedict said was recently reiterated by Pope Francis: namely the ability of the poor to see and receive Christ and to be receptive to holy things. The Magi, who offered the Christ child gifts fit for a King, were there at the manger with the shepherds and the Holy Family. They had humility to see and recognize Who Christ is-- that baby may have been born in rude surroundings, but He is still a King. The very gifts that they gave Him, in their significance, point to how Christ would rule through the Cross and Resurrection.

To have the spirit of poverty is to see the things of this world as gifts, and to use them as if one owned them not, offering them back up to the Lord. The Church as the Mystical Body of Christ needs Catholics at every echelon of society living that example.

Pater Ignotus' Mom said...

My son should get an apartment with that slob?! I mean, LOOK at that bathroom. Towels all over the place, wet towels hung willy-nilly on the towel bar, personal hygiene items left uncapped and scattered on the vanity!


Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering where the rest of Macon went in the exterior shot of the church. Looks like someone took Genes idea to move First Baptist out of the way

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PIM: I don't have a full time maid, like PI had growing up! Our cleaning lady only comes on Monday, when I go and visit my mom at her townhouse in Augusta.

And yes, the photo of the church and rectory is Photoshopped. Those trees ain't there either!

Pater Ignotus' Mom said...

PI doesn't have a full-time maid either, nor did he have one growing up. His cleaning man comes in twice a month. In the meantime he keeps his house neat and orderly because he was brought up right.

The very idea that my son would choose to live in a pig sty is unbearable!