Praying for patience in Toms River

Dear Joel,

I enjoy going to church and I often go with a friend. When the service is over, the priest waits at the back of the church to say hello, and wish everyone blessings. My problem is that my friend sometimes has her friend come with us and she strikes up a long conversation with the priest as the people are exiting. Doesn’t she know that father wants to greet everyone. I have even said, “Can you imagine how tired father must be, saying all those masses and talking with everyone in the church after?”, but she doesn’t get it.What should I do?

Praying for patience in Toms River

Dear Praying,

I wish I could be the answer to your prayers, but this is a challenge. It’s very hard for some people to learn to be sensitive. You might want to try a few tricks, like leaving from a side door, staying a few minutes longer for some extra prayers or striking up your own conversation with your friends in the vestibule, to delay her exit until most people have left. If that doesn’t work, you may want to be more direct, saying you’ll be happy to wait with her so she can speak to father after the crowds have gone. The reception line is no place for serious conversations. Hopefully she’ll catch on. If not, you’ll have to skip services that she is planning on attending with your friend.

Posted in Dear Joel