Q. In your spare time, can you (as a priest) enjoy the same kinds of things as anyone else?
A. For the most part, of course! I like to snowboard, play soccer, garden and scramble up mountains. I like to listen to a lot of different types of music (I wanted to be a DJ while in high school and even had my own Technic Turntables!). From time to time, I may go out with friends to a pub or to a movie, go out for dinner, etc. The overarching virtue for a priest regarding social situations is prudence. As with any of us, but especially for a priest, if our behaviour may cause scandal, then we must avoid it and strive to provide a good example when in public. We can certainly enjoy many of the good things that God has given us, but always in moderation. Remember, folks, keep it classy!
As for holidays, a priest’s bishop will determine how much time he is allowed to have off. I enjoy one month per year of holidays and usually divide it up over the year. While we are free to travel, a priest is also called to a life of simplicity, so he must be prudent in choosing holiday locations that are not overly luxurious or would be an opportunity to be tempted to sinful behavior.
Frs. Nathan and Jerome in the cloister of St. John Lateran, Rome
(This stone supposedly indicates how tall Jesus was – looks like I’m winning!)