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Priestly punctuality

15 July 2016

July 14th, 1916.

SEVERAL letters which we have received on the desirability of a more exact punctuality in beginning Mass lead us to think that unpunctuality may be a more common fault among the clergy than we had thought. It can scarcely be supposed that they would willingly put hindrances in the way of hearing Mass, but, as a business man has pointed out, it may make all the difference to the layman if the priest is a few minutes late. His morning is not at his own disposal, as is the priest’s, a particular train has to be caught, a long day’s work to be begun betimes. There are others also, too often overlooked, to whom punctuality means much. A working girl tells us that, since it is often ten minutes past seven when Mass begins, she has to leave the church immediately after making her communion, and that she knows of others who are often unable to make their communion for this very reason. Incidentally she points out that a Mass at six o’clock on one day in the week, or at least on Sundays, would meet the needs of domestic servants, whose working day begins about 6.45, better than any other time. It is, we are sure, not from want of goodwill, but from lack of thought or imagination, that priests put unnecessary hindrances in the way of those who wish to be present at the Holy Sacrifice; and, though it is far better that those who have such grievances should themselves bring them to the notice of the clergy, we hope that mention of them here may serve a useful purpose.


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