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Relationships with the Priest

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  • Bill Tarkulich
    I ve wondered for years about the relationships between the priest and the villagers in small settlements. I simply wonder just how well they got along. I ve
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 29, 2005
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      I've wondered for years about the relationships between the priest and the
      villagers in small settlements. I simply wonder just how well they got
      along.

      I've heard a range of anecdotal experiences, ranging from fully engaged in
      the community to disliked by most.

      I understand of course that like today, most priests are "from away".
      They are trained in a seminary in some distant city and may not even be
      from the region.

      On the flip side, they too have to subsist, so they have gardens and homes
      to take care of an animals too.

      First, I wonder who foots the church expenses. Did it come directly from
      the villagers? Was the priest paid money, or in-kind services?

      I also wondered how long the village tenure of a priest was.

      My intuition tells me that the answer is "it varies", just as it does in
      parishes today - some get along, some don't.

      I would be interested in hearing what others have learned about priests in
      small villages.

      Thanks!

      --
      Bill Tarkulich
      http://www.iabsi.com
    • Janet Kozlay
      A little research indicates the following: Priests were appointed by the bishop, but in Protestant churches the minister was chosen by election and could be
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 29, 2005
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        A little research indicates the following:
        Priests were appointed by the bishop, but in Protestant churches the
        minister was chosen by election and could be dismissed by the village if he
        did not prove satisfactory. In either case they were chiefly responsible for
        officiating at baptisms, marriages, and funerals, as well as conducting
        religious services and enforcing the morals of the community. They could
        punish offenders by putting them on a pillory or requiring them to confess
        in front of the entire congregation. They also ran the village school. The
        church official was one of the most important, if not the most important,
        person in the village. He was given a portion of land and was supported by
        taxes assessed on the residents following harvest. This could be in cash or
        in kind, or both. He also received fees for officiating at the baptisms,
        marriages, and funerals.
        Since priests were appointed, one can probably assume that their
        job security was greater than in the case of Protestant ministers, who
        served at the will of the community. So there was probably more likelihood
        of a Catholic priest being "disliked" by his congregation.
        I read of the rabbi of a Jewish congregation who was granted a
        yearly income of 47 forints and complained that his congregation had not
        paid him even that. He must have subsisted solely on the land allotted to
        him.

        Janet
      • Michael Mojher
        Bill, On my last trip to Slovakia I spent five days with my cousin, Jozef Dronzek. He is the Dekan of the Roman Catholic Church in Trebisov. I can tell you
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 29, 2005
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          Bill,
          On my last trip to Slovakia I spent five days with my cousin, Jozef Dronzek. He is the Dekan of the Roman Catholic Church in Trebisov. I can tell you that I found his salary to be very little in relationship to his responsibilities. Jozef oversees some fifty villages around Trebisov. He is responsible for saying Mass in three villages. He tries to visit each village during the month. Because of his duties the cost of gasoline consumes one-third of his monthly salary. The diocese does not reimburse him any "business expenses".
          Jozef and the Bishop have different opinions on the role of priests in villages. Jozef would like to see a priest in every village so they can become part of the fabric and life of it. The Bishop prefers to concentrate the priests in larger city and towns and send them out to do there duties or when they are called for.
          From my stay in Hromos I know that their priest resided in Plavnica. I believe he was responsible for a couple of more small villages.
          I was with Jozef when he visited two village priests. I noticed that both were raising chickens and rabbits. And each had a large garden. So it seems, even today's priests have to find a means to stretch their salaries.
          I could write Jozef about the workings of the Church in Slovakia. He may even have some information on how things were done in the past.
          Michael Mojher


          -----

          Original Message -----
          From: Bill Tarkulich
          To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 6:01 AM
          Subject: [S-R] Relationships with the Priest


          I've wondered for years about the relationships between the priest and the
          villagers in small settlements. I simply wonder just how well they got
          along.

          I've heard a range of anecdotal experiences, ranging from fully engaged in
          the community to disliked by most.

          I understand of course that like today, most priests are "from away".
          They are trained in a seminary in some distant city and may not even be
          from the region.

          On the flip side, they too have to subsist, so they have gardens and homes
          to take care of an animals too.

          First, I wonder who foots the church expenses. Did it come directly from
          the villagers? Was the priest paid money, or in-kind services?

          I also wondered how long the village tenure of a priest was.

          My intuition tells me that the answer is "it varies", just as it does in
          parishes today - some get along, some don't.

          I would be interested in hearing what others have learned about priests in
          small villages.

          Thanks!

          --
          Bill Tarkulich
          http://www.iabsi.com



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        • nhasior@aol.com
          In a message dated 11/29/05 9:12:25 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... In Passaic, New Jersey, some of the church administration from above for the ethnic Polish
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 30, 2005
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            In a message dated 11/29/05 9:12:25 AM Eastern Standard Time,
            bill.tarkulich@... writes:

            > I would be interested in hearing what others have learned about priests in
            > small villages.
            >

            In Passaic, New Jersey, some of the church administration "from above" for
            the ethnic Polish and Slovak churches very much offended the parishioners. They
            saw their contributions being spent outside of their community and very
            little returned to their church. they saw beloved priests returned to the old
            country and priests that understood little of their ethnic traditions appointed in
            their place. so much that they rather "broke away" and rebuilt their own
            churches, over again. still tied to Rome but funded and operated by their own
            congregation. i am therefore guessing that in the old country, the parishioners
            had more say and more responsibility in the running of the parish church.


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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