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Keeping priests holy and healthy

 |  NCR Today

Over on Politics Daily, David Gibson has an important article: No Rest For the Holy: Clergy Burnout a Growing Concern.

This warning about clergy burn out is often repeated in parish halls and chancery corridors. It is not as often heeded.

It is no secret that NCR (and its supporters) oppose clericalism and patriarchy. What sometimes gets lost, however is that we are not anti-priest. (See Words of encouragement in a time of challenge Denise Simeone's open letter to priest and Those Vatican II priests, Pat Marrin's praise for a generation of priests -- many of them still active, this is no lost generation -- who inspired us and keeps us on the path.)

We want our priests holy and healthy. Gibson's article outlines some programs and projects that aim to keep clergy together in body, mind and spirit. Good information there, but the best advice is at the end:

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experts also say the solutions have to start at the congregational level.

Congregants can encourage pastors to take time off, and not view everything in the church as the pastor's responsibility. They can also be sure to provide healthy food at church events. But clergy must also learn find time to exercise or relax, even if it means saying no to some requests. Otherwise, they won't be healthy enough to serve their flock later on.

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