Wednesday, August 10, 2016


In the last century when I worked on the parish staff in our San Francisco church, there was a woman named Margo who helped us priests in our work.  Margo had a rare combination.  She was brilliant and kind.  I am occasionally kind.  When something had to be decided, Margo would ask, What do you think?" to me or one of the other priests.  She genuinely seemed to want to know our ideas.  We would tell her what we thought.  Margo would go, "Humm."  Then she would say, "Well, what if we did it this way, or did this?" Her idea was better, but she would give us time to digest it, and get over ego damage.  She would do this by giving her reasons why she would do something in a certain way.  I admired her approach.  Sometimes when several of us priests were bickering back and forth, getting nowhere on a solution, Margo would save us from ourselves, by saying, "Look guys, here is what we will do."  She sensed we were all tired and frustrated with one another, getting nowhere.  She knew when to use the direct approach.  Even though she was smarter than all of us clerics, and put up with a lot of our ineptitude, she stayed in the church and we were very successful in our mission while she was there.  Behind every successful Catholic parish, is a good woman.

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