What do Priests do on the other 6 days of the week?

What happens when the Sunday Sermon/Mass is over? Do they have second jobs on the side to make money? I have a hard time imagining that those collection plates bring in enough money.

In our parish, there’s a Mass everyday, in fact, there’s multiple Masses on some days. The priest is also heavily involved with the local religious schools attached to the parish. There’s also funerals, weddings, christenings, last rites, communion for the sick etc. to do during the week.

I don’t know how involved the priest is with the running and maintenance of the church, but if he was involved, he’d have to pay for and organise flowers for the church, wine etc.

What do Priests do on the other 6 days of the week? Molest choir boys.

Oh…this isn’t a joke thread… :stuck_out_tongue:


+MDI seems to have covered it. I guess all those duties are why they don’t have time to stand in line at the supermarket. At least I’ve never seen a priest in line.

I used to work at a supermarket, and we see the local priests all the time. 90% of the time they would be dressed in their black clothes and Roman collar, but once in a while we see one of the regulars in jeans and a t-shirt.

If the parish has more than one or two priests that live in a Rectory, they usually have a housekeeper that shops and cooks for them.

Diocesan priests are paid a salary by the diocese. (It was around $17,000 a few years ago.) Order priests (used to) receive a stipend from the school, parish, or other facility where they worked which they turned over to their community and get back a living allowance. (With the issues of FICA and income tax, I am not sure how that is handled these days.) The only direct collection-to-pocket occasion used to be a special collection around Christmas which was divied up by the pastor among his associates. It has been a long time since I even heard of that happening.

In all parishes, the pastor is the financial and physical adminstrator, and spends a lot of time managing the property. Parish councils were intended to take some of the burden off the pastor, but after deciding where the parish will spend money, they are not the ones who have to make the phone calls to the roofers, electricians, plumbers, etc.; that falls back on the pastor.

Associate pastors don’t have those obligations, but they are often wearing multiple hats within the diocese, teaching or administering other church offices. And while priests rarely counsel people between 9 and 5 (since most people are working), they have to prepare for any such sessions (usually during the day) before they are conducted. There are also visits to parishioners who are homebound and ill or who are in the hospital.

The preists have to do a lot of organizing and communicating aside from their religious duties. While their days aren’t 100% filled from end to end, they do a lot of work in the evenings when most people are relaxing.

Aside from that, many of them have other duties, like teaching. They consider this a part of their normal job and do not, AFAIK, take any extra pay for it. A few do other things on their own. There’s no rules that a preist can’t write, work for a news agency doing columns, etc.

I think all the priests also get one day off during the week. The pastor at the church where I grew up would golf on his day off. He once asked me how I did. I told him that I wasn’t very good “I’m always over 100.” (Can’t lie to a man of the cloth.)
He replied “Well, that’s not bad!”

Another associate pastor at the church would go to the racetrack on his day off and was quite the handicapper.

At work once, I saw one of the assistant bishops in the diocese showing around two young women, whom I certainly hope were his nieces.

Ah come on guys, you know they work as caddies or gardeners during the week, then are waiters at weddings on Saturday and show up for mass on Sunday pretending to have written a sermon. Some Protestant ministers are used car salesman and bouncers. Oh and during the summer they goof off with the teachers who also have nothing to do while school is out. The OP is on to something here. It’s all smoke and mirrors and the rest of you are attempting to cover-up the conspiracy. :smiley:

Theres one padre in my hometown, whom I would regularly see walking along the road, holding Wal*Mart bags, fresh from his shopping trip, a few times a week on my way to work (except sundays).

I always wondered how many priests got caught up in having to be the church communities free psychologist. Imagine being a priest and having every member come to you throughout the week with their personal problems for you to solve. Or the lonely members who want to sit and chew your ear off all day long while you can’t turn them away because your expected to listen to everyone for as long as they want you to.
Shrinks get $150/hr. to listen to people go on and on about their problems. Priests get about $17,000 a year and no overtime.

Yes, but the death benefits are much better. :stuck_out_tongue:

My understanding is that in North America, many Roman Catholic priests ride circuit on multiple parishes.

Do all priests get housing provided by the church?

Daughter of a Protestant minister here. There were two or three services on Sunday, and my Dad sometimes took Mondays off. When not preaching, there were home and hospital visits, community and church organization meetings, church business adminstration, weddings, funerals, counselling, teaching the communicants class, and preparing for the services. My dad also volunteered as a police chaplain. Periodically, there may be campaigns to run to fund a new building or renovate an old one.

I also wanted to mention that not all church funding comes out of the individual church’s collection plate. The denomination’s ruling organization may help to fund things like pensions and medical insurance. Also, a lot of the pastor or priest’s time may be spent working with people who are interested in making a larger donation or bequest to the church.

The priest at our (Catholic) church is provided with housing. My dad had several churches over the course of his career. One had a church-owned manse, the rest had some stipulations about where the minister should live, but didn’t provide a specific house.

This is very common. I used to work as a sexton (general caretaker) at my former parish and saw this a lot. There were also the folks who would come around to the rectory and try to hit up the priests for a few dollars.

Also, the sermons given every Sunday don’t write themselves. I imagine writing them takes up a lot of time.

My senior pastor last night said she figures an hour of prep for every minute of preaching.

FWIW, she was there at the church until 9:30pm at our committee meeting. She also supervises the rest of the staff (treasurer, admin assistant, associate pastor, paid intern), meets with the other committees, and does 3/4 of the preaching, does hospital visits, home visits, counseling, new member classes, sets up and leads our adult classes, serves on the board of directors of our subsidized child care center, writes a monthly article for our newsletter, and coordinates with the property and finance committees to pay for our new roof. We’re Lutheran, but it is not significantly different for my brother-in-law, who is a Roman Catholic priest.

It’s a lot of work for not much money, especially for someone with a master’s degree (or, in my brother-in-law’s case, two masters and a CPA’s licence).


I don’t know about the Catholic church, but in the one I used to attend, the collection plates were a fairly small part of the church’s income. Many (most?) of the regular members tithed a percentage of their salaries, which they either mailed in or dropped off in the church office. You didn’t see those amounts in the collection plate.