Monday, December 17, 2018


John Nolan reminded me of a "wonderful" Christmas tradition in many parts of the world to include the New England region of the USA. At the London Oratory, the priests would get the Christmas collection although John Nolan doesn't say if the pastor, rightfully, gets the larger cut compared to his lesser clergy.

This was never a tradition in the south as far as I know, at least legally. But when I was in the seminary in the 1970's, I heard seminarians from New England tellling us that the priests got the Christmas collection. They seem to tell us this with their mouths' watering.

Of course some seminarians who had never heard of this tradition (which I have never heard of) were turning green with the sin of envy. Not me of course, I was/am into kingdom values.

Have any of you heard of the priests of your diocese getting the Christmas collection? And if so, did the pastor get a larger cut?????

What do you think of this "It's a Wonderful Life for Priests" Christmas custom?

And what do you think of priests thanking the congregation ahead of time at Christmas Masses by telling them their gift this Christmas Mass was no homily????????????


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

It was my New England classmates who spoke of this "tradition." I think the guys from Pittsburgh had similar tales. I never heard of it till then.

The pastor got it all and, if he was generous, would share it with his associates.

Henry said...

Perhaps this practice survives in the form of the exemption of the Christmas collection from the "diocesan tax" (whereby the diocese normally takes a fixed cut of each parish collection).

rcg said...

Well, I would be for it.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Henry, we don't get that exemption in our diocese.

TJM said...

I have never heard of this practice. However, the priests who staffed our parish were members of a religious order. It is my understanding that diocesan priests have to set aside money for their retirement years, so perhaps, that is the genesis of this practice.

John Nolan said...

Oratorian priests living in community are equal. They choose who is to be parish priest or provost. Donations are shared.

Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like a snide comment by someone in the pews. I don’t believe it.

MikeL said...

In the 60s and 70s the Christmas collecion at each parish in the Diocese of Rochester NY was divided among the priests serving the parish (and I believe the pastor received a larger share). This practice was later eliminated - sometime in the 1980s I believe.