Ok, I've decided that complaining about the O has gotten counterproductive. It's turning me into the kind of victim I can't stand. Clearly, I'm not willing to leave, because I have too many kindred spirits there.
So let's try something different. What would I like to see the Oratory CHANGE?
1. I know a lot of you are shy, but one of you coming up to a newcomer after mass would make a HUGE difference. Just a 'hello and come again,' nothing too deep. It's nice being noticed.
2. This one has always been a biggie: those who are difficult or will throw a paddy if they don't get what they want are almost always given what they want (*coughchoirmastercough*). First of all, that makes them worse. Second, people who wouldn't normally act that way realise that they need to act that way to get what they want. GAAAAAAH. NO. I know it's hard - *I* have a hard time doing it, but 'No, I'm afraid that's an unreasonable request and we will NOT accept this kind of behaviour.'
3. I'm the first to admit that some parish women make ME want to mock them ceaselessly. But please, don't generalise to all of us, because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we turn out to be endlessly needy (as do a lot of the men/altar boys, to be fair!), fine, avoid us, call us on it, whatever. But give us each a chance to be ourselves before you pigeonhole us. Don't assume that every request we make is going to be a burden. And don't assume that every complaint we make is to be dismissed: quite often, we'll have a better awareness of emotional resonances and be better judges of character, simply because people mask themselves and try to be good for you. If you hear several of us say the same thing, it's probably time to take note.
I either tend not to mask or be worse than my usual self because you're authority. But I'm the exception.
4. Don't avoid problems/look the other way. They may not be easy to deal with, but nip them in the bud before they become the size of Mt Everest and make things difficult for everyone. They tend to be like kudzu if you don't get them early...a root structure that could make you CRY.
5. You're human. Be yourselves. You're allowed an off day, you're allowed to snap, you're allowed to be genuinely funny. It would bring a huge amount of vitality to the place if you were the people *I* know from the Lodge and from outside church. You guys can totally rock.
6. Bend a little - be orthodox, but be thoughtful and compassionate. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
7. We need more groups - real, vital parish groups that do things. Our youth need to do things like go to Ghana, not Sydney. You're missing out everyone between 18-60. That's a HUGE amount of untapped resources.
1. Be real. Be yourselves. Stop kissing priestly ass. It annoys them.
2. Call them on their bad moments - kindly, but honestly. They're not gods or even demi-gods. They're men, good men, but with faults. Calling them on those faults helps to make them better priests, and that's good for everyone.
3. Be real. Be yourselves. Stop kissing... oh yeah. Ahem.
4. The church needs all hands on deck - if you can clean, do. If you can help with something else, do. Those few who do everything get temperamental and tired for good reason: they have their own lives too. All shoulders to the wheel, even if it's only a donation of something the Church needs.
5. Be real. Oh, sorry...