Priest as Father

Pippa Bonner
How does a priest being called ?Brother? rather than ?Father? resonate with you? Pippa Bonner uses experiences from psychotherapy to ask how the term ?Father? impacts on us. Pippa Bonner ran the bereavement service at a hospice. She writes as part of the Dympna Circle: three women writers who reflect on spiritual and therapeutic issues.

This reflection came to life after yet another remark at a Catholic gathering when someone said to me ?You are lucky, you have a good priest.? She was right. I am fortunate to be in a flourishing, diverse parish with a collaborative, inclusive priest, and active lay involvement from many in the congregation. However, her remark re-started some thinking about potential lay over-dependence on the priest. Lay adults must take some responsibility for their own spiritual growth. Lay people, those in religious life, and priests make their faith journey together.

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