The best place for a church and rectory is: The middle of the parish cemetery. The priest should live among the dead, with skeletons for his roommates.
At my little church, we don’t have a parish cemetery. But I have the next best thing: There is a beautiful, enormous, old cemetery right up the hill. Not only that, I have owned a grave in this cemetery for years.
Barring a transfer, I will spend the rest of the history of the world in this neighborhood. My bones will moulder alongside those of my most long-term neighbors.
St. Augustine was a fearless preacher. For example:
God isn’t too grand to talk even to fools. Some of you may say, perhaps, “And how did God talk to a fool?” O my brothers and sisters, how many fools is He talking to here, when the gospel is chanted?
Anyway: The saint was talking about Luke 12:20, when God says to the rich man building bigger barns, “You fool, today your soul is required of you.”
The discipline of clerical celibacy is a constant reminder that death is near.
This is a great blessing: Every time we Catholics come to church, we are confronted by a man who has no inheritance in this world. The members of his body have been put to death. He lives with a foot in the grave, shrouded in black at all times.
This helps us all, we priests included. We need this discipline as much as everyone else. We priests did not choose it; it chose us. The discipline of celibacy has made us bearers of the ultimate truth.
Fool, today your soul will be required of you.