July 14, 2010

The Missionary Role of Russian Parish Priests

Even those who don't understand Russian may wish to hear and see a portion of Patriarch Kirill's warm, fatherly address to the clergy of Tver. Among other things, he says that priests should not feel insulted if they are appointed to a small village; moreover, they should not think of their local church as their sole base of operations.

The Patriarch counsels the priests how to build up the church in the entire region: to visit and meet with people of the next village where there may not be any church building; to go to the village beyond that, and the village beyond that, etc. He tells the priests should do this on a regular basis -- and then delicately reminds the bishop, as overseer, to follow-up with the various villages himself.