When I Didn’t Know How to Help: A Hard Day in the Life of a Parish Priest

R~P~M, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There are times in ministry when you come across a moment out of the blue that just becomes hard to shake off.

Once in a while you come across a person you don’t know and might well never see again who has been bruised, beaten, and defeated by life and he ends up in your office. He doesn’t want a hand-out, he wants a way out. He wants to know that something out there ahead can be better for him than it is now.

Me? I feel inept to the task. I am okay with that. It isn’t me he needs. It is God he needs. He needs to see someone give witness to God that no matter how bad the wreckage he finds himself in, there is hope. He needed someone to see beyond the broken man and see the child of God.

A couple hours of talking and making arrangements to get him to a place where he could be helped, I prayed my rosary for him as I left him at the bus station. I give him my number and tell him to call me when he needs someone to talk to. I don’t know if he keeps the number or uses it. I hope he does.

You all? Pray for this young man. My heart aches at all of the trauma he has gone through. He can use all of the prayer he can get as he tries to improve and stabilize his ship.

Since it was the feast of St Anthony of Padua when it happened, let’s just call this young man ‘Anthony.’ God will know who you are praying for.

Originally posted on Facebook

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Fr. Bill Peckman
Fr. Bill Peckman is the pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Boonville, MO and St. Joseph Parish in Fayette, MO.