- If you a lucky enough to go to an old church the confessionals are probably cold. Why not buy some hand warmers for the priests at your parish and drop them off at the office anonymously?
- Don't insist on treating the pastor like your personal chaplain, particularly if you are a woman. That's selfish and leads to trouble down the road. We all look nervously at the young woman who hangs around Father constantly but the well meaning middle aged woman who tries to make the priest her best friend or a surrogate father for her children causes a lot of parish whispers and strife. I've seen a few things in the past that made me go "Hmm." I left it at that and said nothing to anyone. Other people at that particular parish didn't. Gossips, when they have a tasty bit of news are just like a Fice dog after a squirrel. They don't stop.
You may think, 'Well let those nasty busybodies talk. I'm not doing anything wrong', but my dear, parish gossips have a weird way of talking to the right people eventually and if they have any financial pull in the parish they know the right people already. I mean, people like the Dean, or the Bishop's Priest's Representative or the bishop himself. Then all of a sudden Father gets moved amid whispers and you get labeled "That Crazy Woman Who Got Fr. X into trouble." Don't go down that road. Even if this particular scenario doesn't play out don't be that woman who makes Father's alarm bell go off. I remember one woman complaining and being genuinely puzzled as to why her pastor refused all of her invitations to dinner. I told her, and no she didn't appear to appreciate it, that while she meant well, when a man turns you down twice let it be. Numerous offers of dinner alone just made her new priest suspect that something wasn't right. Now she's embarrassed. Again, don't be THAT woman. Don't go down that road.
- Speaking of gossip. Don't engage in any.
- Don't entertain complainers. The people who want Fr. to run the parish their way are probably nice enough but what they are doing is actually evil. Don't consort with them.
- When Father gives an awesome homily, or puts the tabernacle back in the center of the church instead of that chapel down the hall say something to him. Give him positive feedback.
- When Father says something blasphemous, or just unCatholic in his homily don't just mutter about him and don't write to the bishop without speaking to Father first. If he tells you to shut up and continues his wrong ways contact the bishop and prepare to leave the parish if you live in an area that has more than one parish to choose from. Don't be that parishioner who stews in the pews and harrasses Father at every opportunity. You aren't doing him or yourself or your reputation any good. In fact, you might even be driving people away from orthodoxy because they see you wild eyed and slavering every Sunday.
- Make Father a meal, a pie or a batch of soup and drop it off at the parish office once in awhile or order a food item to be shipped to the rectory.
- Participate in World Priest Day this year.
- Pray for your priest and all priests. Souls, Our Lady said, are falling into Hell like snow flakes because no-one prays for them.