Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Trash Talkin'

I just had the most interesting conversation with one of the staff.

This person talked about how difficult it is to work for the Church and remain a Catholic. She is appalled at how people will be nice to her face and then trash her when she's not around. I did tell her that I had complained-but she said, yes, but you never got personal.

And I can say that I didn't. I know that I assumed a great deal, but I never go personal. I commplained because I was frustrated with having to change from the old person to her, the new person, and not fully understanding what she wanted from us.

What it comes down to is people not having the courage to come to the person themselves and talk about what is bothering them. I strongly believe that if parishionors or certain staff members had come to me and talked I would still have my job. Instead, they bypass me, complain to Father and he thinks I'm wrong.

Now, my wrong is that I do not like talking to him. He does not listen and is rather defensive. However, I lacked the courage to say No You are wrong. Those people ARE wrong. I did nothing wrong. I did my job. My failures are no better or no worse than ANY other person on this staff.
Except for the person living with their partner...who they aren't married too...

So, in my last few days here, I'm debating: Do I confront those staff member who made judgements about me and call them on their lack of courage? Do I go to the Boss and say You were wrong. You made a terrible error here.

I'm not sure.


Blogger Jaime said...

If you're looking for opinions (I guess you are since its on your blog) I would say absolutely not. There is absolutely no upside to it. It can only hurt you.

Anything negative you say will be taken as bitterness or grief and completely dismissed. "Getting it off your chest" really only works when you are heard. My guess is if you aren't heard (which is very likely) you will feel more frustrated.

Politics run rampant in every parish. People talk about politics in corporate settings and I laugh out loud. Most companies are in political little league compared to a good sized church.

Whether or not you are working for them, you still are responsible to model Christ to them. Maybe your last few days, you have to model Christ on the way to Calvary.

9:48 AM  
Blogger TCYM Lounge said...

Thanks Jaime, I do look for opinions!

I ended up not saying anything, and I'm glad I didn't. You are right, I would not come off looking very good, even if I were in the right.

In the last few days I began to see certain staff members' failures very clearly and it wrankled me even more. I did no worse or any better than any other staff member, yet here I am.

There are two who I believe talked a great deal about me behind my back and made a great deal of assumptions without ever coming to talk to me. Intersetingly enough one woman's attitude seemed to be rather self-righteous, but others have agreed she is generally like this anyway.

However, right there, I assumed, and I found myself to not always be right-and this is the real kicker. Those who assumed and never talked do not know a thing. If anything, I have learned even more to keep my mouth shut about things I do not have full knowledge of and to not assume I know an ounce about what others are thinking.

I can't control them, but I sure as he**can control myself. You are right: Model Christ even if they do not.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Jaime said...

Excellent call on your part.

I don't have a clue of what your program looked like or what the priests issues with you were, but please don't take being let go too personally. While I wasn't fired from the first church I worked at, I was intentionally forced out by having my job reduced to 15 hours a week. A year later they bumped it back up to full time.

Why didn't they just not renew my contract? The arch diocese was using my program as a model for start up churches. By reducing my hours they could legitimately say I quit and not p*** off the diocese folk.

Take heart. God may actually want you in the biz for a while longer. If that's the case, you're going to get burnt from time to time. At any rate I do hope the wounds are starting to heal, know that there are others who know what you are going through and I hope that God gives you clear direction on what he wants you to do next.

take care

Your.... tormentor?

4:04 PM  

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