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“Ask a Priest: Why Is It So Hard to Get a Priest to Bless a Residence?”
Q: I can’t find a priest who will bless my residency or my pet. I have to wait for the pet blessing once year so that’s OK. Patience is a virtue, but I never dreamed they wouldn’t offer residency blessings. I’m from a small town, so maybe the clergy had time for stuff like that. I’m in Los Angeles close to a parish. Did the pandemic change things? I’ve e-mailed and called other priests in other parishes. No reply. The ones that did reply said they don’t do that anymore. In Michigan, or anywhere else I’ve been, the priest would find a few minutes out of his day to bless a house or apartment. I’ll pray for the clergy. What’s going on with the Church? This is somewhat disheartening. – F.M.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: With the general shortage of priests — and the relatively big demand for priestly service in a place like Los Angeles — the clergy have to prioritize what they can reasonably accomplish.
Many priests, if not most, for instance, rely on Eucharistic ministers to take Communion to the homebound. So it’s understandable that these same priests won’t be able to dedicate time for home blessings.
If you at least have a priest for regular Masses and confession times, count yourself fortunate. Not all Catholics enjoy that benefit. In 2021 there were 3,377 parishes in the U.S. without a resident priest pastor.
It’s good that you are praying for the clergy. Pray for priestly vocations, too. And consider whether Our Lord might be calling you or a family member to the priesthood.
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