WASHINGTON — Parish ministry in the 21st century sees most U.S. diocesan priests living alone, working all day to care for the needs of their flock. But stalking many diocesan priests by day, and prowling in the pouring dark of the parish residence by night, is the enemy they call loneliness.
It’s a desperate battle that some priests and bishops are trying to solve.
“You can use the rope to swing by it, or you can hang by it,” Father Brian Carpenter said of the challenge of living alone in an assignment. The priest of the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., is by nature a “raging extrovert,” and he said adjusting to his assignment in rural Owego was “very difficult” for the first three months....READ MORE