he is driving me CRAZY.
I really need some moral support and good advice (as harsh as it may be) so I'm just going to lay it out for you all...
FI have been together for 3 1/2 years now, we've known our priest for 2 years. FI is military, and this priest is a retired chaplain who works kind of on an "as needed" basis. So he doesn’t really have a home church and I get the feeling that this makes him really lonely because he doesn’t have a community or a church full of people to support and love him… so we have made him part of our family. We invite him to all events, over to dinner, go wherever he is doing mass that week (which means we also don’t have a home church, which makes me sad as I grew up in a wonderful church community and I miss that).
The reason we stick by him so much is because of the mentor he has become to FI. This was a bit of a problem area in the beginning, because the priest used to constantly suggest that maybe FI should become a priest. It made me really uncomfortable, was he saying that we shouldn’t get married… that sort of thing.
Anyway, he’s not your average priest. He makes a lot of really indecent jokes and has been known to swear a bit, even in a homily, which I was originally REALLY put off with, but I understand that being a priest to a military crowd of rowdy young men might make you resort to anything to get their attention… so I can overlook the occasional slip. My mom can’t though. They just met him for the first time a few weeks ago, the first thing he did, literally 5 minutes after meeting my parents, was to start telling dirty jokes, which just made my parents incredibly uncomfortable, even though I explained to them why (I think) he does it.
More anyway… FI was divorced over 10 years ago. He was born catholic, but never finished confirmation and fell away from the church after joining the military. (he is getting confirmed in a few weeks actually, thanks to this priest, but only after making him jump through ALL sorts of hoops that even converts don't have to go through). When he got married they just did it in a courthouse. Our priest told us this was not a big deal, a very simple annulment process because of lack of form and that we only needed to wait a couple of months out from our wedding to submit the forms to get it. That was 2 years ago. I have been begging and pleading for him to get it done sooner, so that I can stop worrying, but it has all been “oh you are worrying too much, it’s no big deal, trust in God” VERY FRUSTRATING - I trust in God, but come on, there are things that need to be done, a process that needs to be completed, and God isn’t going to fill the form out. The form is finally complete, we have less than 4 months to go until the wedding. Everything is paid for, invites are ordered, etc. But now I have to sit around and bite my nails and PRAY that it gets back to us in time, I don’t even want to think about what will happen if it doesn’t.
So there’s the first problem I suppose.
NOW though, he is relaying these little messages to FI (who goes to mass at a base chapel every day while at work) to tell to me. Saying “tell her that she better realize that the ceremony is MINE and that she has nothing to say about it,” and other good little tid bits like that. This all started because I innocently asked how long he thought the ceremony would be so that I could plan a timeline. My reception venue wanted to know what time to serve dinner, well I need to know what time I can expect guests to be leaving the ceremony and making their way across the street (literally) to the venue to give them a time. Plus I wanted to figure out what time to actually start the mass (with no help from him, I blindly picked 4:00 – there is no Saturday mass at the chapel so we have it from 3-6) He said he’ll take as long as he pleases and was VERY offended that I asked and also said that if I was so worried about taking all of my pictures maybe I wasn’t ready to get married in the church – I NEVER said anything about pictures, I am likely going to do pictures beforehand just to help things move smoothly, and was really offended that he was making me sound so superficial. I tried to explain to him that I don’t mind how long he wants to take, it is completely up to him, I just wanted a timeframe – is that really unreasonable??? He normally goes pretty long with the homily so I was going for the safe side of 1.5 hours and asked if that was enough, he wouldn’t even so much as answer!!!!!!!!
And maybe I need to go back and read my catechism, but I thought that the married couple were the officiants of the mass, so where is all this “the mass is MINE” business coming from? Don’t we get some say???
There are other problems but it is late and I am just really tired and frustrated. That’s about all I’ve got for right now, this is really just the tip of the iceberg… I guess I am wondering, should I just find another priest? Is that like forum shopping – priest shopping? FI is at the breaking point with him too. Ever since we stopped donating money to him he has been acting 10 times worse about everything, but we just cannot afford to donate money right now, I have no job, and my student loans have just become due. (we had been doing 10 percent of FI income for 2 years now). Our wedding money was set aside 2 years ago and we do not touch it, but it isn’t much. He even suggested to FI just this past week that we were spending too much money on the wedding and maybe if we cut back and didn’t serve fancy dinners then we could start donating to him again (he is building a shrine somewhere outside the US). The dinner we are having is sit down (cheaper than buffet) and only 18 a head, which was the best deal I found, what am I supposed to skimp on – we are being as tight as we can!!!!!!!
Sorry for the long rant, I had to get it out to someone. If anyone has any advice or opinions, I'm listening...