What should you call a priest when "Father" isn't an option?
November 15, 2011 2:45 PM Subscribe
I work in a nominally Catholic institution with a resident priest. I'll be working with him next week on publicising the upcoming Christmas events. Most people refer to him Father (firstname). I don't feel comfortable with that - so what do I call him instead?
posted by cilantro to human relations (86 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
While the institution is traditionally Catholic and there is a chapel on site, the vast majority of students and staff are non-Catholic (with the largest group being completely non-religious according to a recent survey). The Catholic identity really only gets attention at Christmas. I, myself, am 100% completely non-religious. I find the idea of calling someone who is essentially a work colleague "father" really weird - it's just not an option I'm comfortable with. I want to be respectful, as I would want to be respectful to anyone I work with, and call him a name that makes him comfortable, but "father" is out of the question. I know he was recently made a Monsignor, should I call him that, or is it too formal for a work situation? What about Reverend? Should I just ask him?
He's definitely not the informal "call me John" sort of priest. He's very, very traditional, if that makes a difference.