Thursday, July 12, 2018


I was reading some comments at Fr. Z's blog about days off for priests as well as vacations.  People think priests should be working 24/7/365! We don't deserve a day off because this goes against the Protestant Work Ethic.

I know that people see as heroic bishops and priests to include this pope and Pope St. John Paul II who are work-aholics. This is an addiction, not heroic not withstanding those who admire it.

I happen to agree that priests should and must take a day off each week. I do and do so unapologically.

I believe that priests whose diocese gives them a full month, 31 days of vacation, should take that vacation either all at once or spread throughout the year.

Those dioceses that allow for an additional week of continuing education funded by the parish should take that week of continuing education.

And priests should take the canonical yearly retreat.

My first five years of ordaination, I did not take a day off except on some occasions. By the 4th year, I developed pneumonia but did not see a doctor. If not for a doctor at the Sunday Mass where I nearly passed out intervening and taking me to the hospital I would have died in a couple of days of that pneumonia.

It took me about two years to recover, I lost about 60 pounds in about a month. But it woke me up. I began taking a weekly day off and developed an exercise regime that I continue to this day.

Yes, priests should take a day off and take all their diocese allows.


Unknown said...
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Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Yes, we have to take care of ourselves, and taking vacation or time off is necessary.

Has someone been on your case...?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No,just reacting to comments on Fr. Z's blog. BTW, I am on vacation guiltless about it.

TJM said...

Every priest needs a vacation. I am quite confident if an emergency arose while either Fathers McDonald or Kavanaugh were on vacation, they would absolutely do what is required of them. It is unhealthy not to take a vacation.

Anonymous said...

This is crazy for people to think that a priest should not have a day off or vacation time.

Rood Screen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Kumpel said...

One of the best priests I've known in my lifetime (RIP) burned out in the 1980's and it took him over a year to recover from it.

Father, if you need a day, take it. If you need a retreat, take it.

Just don't forget, we need you.

Anonymous said...

If we believe our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, we should treat it with respect, and that means adequate rest/vacation among other things (like moderation in eating and drinking). Even our Lord had to take time to rest. Taking one day a week off is hardly what I call a lax work schedule!