Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee
I’ve heard it said by a number of priests that they would rather celebrate five services in a day than attend an additional committee meeting. Some priests have posited that “hell will be one continuous committee meeting without the ability to end.” I guess for most, we are people of action who rarely like to discuss or dissect our intentions or plans.
I’ve notice that there is even a type of “committee-speak,” a language used in committee meetings, especially when reports are given. For instance, a presenter will take questions from the committee members. Inevitably, the presenter will take a question, and his response is “Great question.” Now, if I just happened to have been the person who asked the previous question, does that mean my question wasn’t so great, but this last question was great? Hey, I don’t think so! The other “committee-speak” response is being “glad” the person asked that question. Why are they glad, because they’re prepared to answer the question? Were they going to hide the material, and now they’re forced to expound? Were they saddened by the other questions?
There are certain statements and words that are used in committee meetings, but everyone’s favorite is, “Do I have a motion to adjourn?,” and an immediate second never fails to chime in. Could you imagine someone saying, “Wait a minute! I just want a half an hour more of committee meeting time!”
As much as committee meetings may be tedious and trying on one’s spirit, they are necessary. The works of committees involve so many people in the life of a parish, as well as in the boardrooms of corporation in the government operations. In committee meetings, we bring people aboard as we shift through projects, prepare for celebrations, evaluate materials, construct planning and determine a vision going forward.
My gratitude goes out to all who sacrifice their free time to attend board or committee meetings, especially for our parishes. These volunteers demonstrate an ultimate love and concern that they have for Christ, for the Church and for their fellow parishioners. We are richer as a Church for the willingness of those who spend their valuable time on us in order for us to find ways to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Note: This blog originally appeared as the March 28, 2017 "Love One Another" email sent to Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki. If you are interested in signing up for these email messages, please click here.