Friday, October 5, 2012

Open Hours

When I was in college, one of the things that I took advantage of frequently was the open hours that professors would offer for the students. I would often just stop in their office for a couple of minutes and ask a question or two. Of course it always helped to ask them questions, but the real advantage of this was that I was able to develop a relationship with them over the year. Looking back at those
times I realized that I probably learned just as much in those one-on-one brief conversations as I had learned in class.
When I was ordained a priest one of the things that I quickly found out was that people want to talk to me (not because of who I am, but because I am a priest), but do not necessarily feel like they have something important enough to schedule an appointment with me for. So, at my last parish I started offering “open hours” for the parishioners to come on by without scheduling an appointment. These “open hours” were very successful, as many parishioners would stop on by and just talk. It also gave me an opportunity to get to know the parishioners, and in turn, the parish better. So, I am going to start to offer “open hours” here at St. Ambrose starting on October 6th. The Open Hours will be every Saturday in October and November from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM, and for the most part will be in the Fr. Pingatore room. If they are successful I will continue to offer them in following months.
You may be asking yourself, what would I discuss with Fr. Carlson during these “open hours”? Well, anything is fair game. Maybe you have a question about the faith that you really want to talk to someone about. Or maybe you are working through a situation and would like some advice from a priest. Or maybe you just want to stop on by because you are afraid that I am going to be bored. All of these are good reasons to come on in. Once again there is no need to schedule an appointment for this. Of course, I will still be available throughout the week to meet with people, so if that works out better for you, don’t hesitate to call.
I often tell people the reason why I got ordained a priest was not for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a priest. But the reason why I got ordained a priest and am a priest is for you, the people of God. I hope that these “open hours” are a way for me to serve you better.
Fr. Carlson 

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