Diary of a Mountain Priest: A Frequently Asked Question

Fr Vince Kuna, CSC after his Ordination

Fr. Vince Kuna, C.S.C., has sent us his latest blog post from his post out at the Tri-Community of Holy Cross parishes in Colorado Springs, CO.

At our annual Question and Answer forum with the parish priests, many wise questions are posited to Fr. Bob Epping, CSC, and me. The questions run the gamut on “all things Catholics,” and my pastor and I must be on our toes. Invariably, at the end of the session, the question is usually posed to me, “Well, what do priests do on their day off?”

I answer, “Many things of fine taste and cultural interest: I might catch an art house film at Kimball’s Theatre, finish the book I’m currently reading, listen to music, and perhaps end the day at one of the fine eating establishments in Colorado Springs.”

Now I admit the films I watch, the books I read and even the places I eat at are esoteric in nature. I’m also the only Holy Cross priest in town who takes his day off on a Monday. So often I spend them alone. And I used to prefer it that way. As an introvert, I cherish my alone time as it recharges the ministerial batteries for the coming week. But I noticed something was missing from my day off, especially when viewed through that ole’ Catholic lens. As a church, we’re certainly a group of believers struggling to walk through this world together. Walking with each other includes recreating with each other as well.

Previously, I’d spoken to Young Adult Catholics (aged 23-35) in the diocese as a lecturer, so I decided to plug in more so as a participant. Since I was already friends with youth ministers who were part of the group, commiserating with other young adults came easily. Through the young adult reading group and the Catholic Happy Hour events, I realized my esoteric interests weren’t so esoteric. Yes, other Catholics have read Cormac McCarthy novels. Yes, other people besides me thought Black Swan was the most patently absurd piece of filmmaking released by Hollywood last year (even if it did star Natalie Portman). And of course, many other Catholics acquire a taste for obscure foreign beers over anything produced by Miller or Budweiser.

Fr Vince Kuna, CSC with some Catholic Youth Adults

So I suppose that’s the long answer to the simple question, “What does father do on his day off.” I do many healthy and interesting things in my time away from the parish. Time best spent in the company of other like-minded Catholics.

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