Item 1540a - A psychologist on priests' identity crises

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1540a

Title

A psychologist on priests' identity crises

Date(s)

  • May 17, 1967 (Creation)

Level of description

Item

Extent and medium

1 p. of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

(1932-1996)

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Item consists of a one page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: "A psychologist on priests' identity crises" published in The National Catholic Reporter, 17 May 1967, p. 6. The article is about three perceived threats to the mental health of priests. These are described in terms of problems with time, with space and with self-understanding. 1) The new priest starts by giving his whole time to his ministry with little or no demarcation between work and rest. He thrives on being at the center, being available to everyone all the time. In time , because there is little change in fact, this can and does frequently lead to being ‘ an irritated, empty, routine, tired man’. In addition, at a daily level there is no demarcation of time between ‘work’ and ‘home’. No time to stop and reflect or even pray. 2) ‘Besides a healthy use of time, a healthy use of place is of great importance for the mental health of the priest’. Because he is always at work there is no space to find rest; because the people he lives with are the people he works with, there is no personal space. The demarcation lines of authority are vague and unhealthy. ‘…healthy spacing not only refers to healthy defining of places and rooms, but also connected with that, to healthy clarification of responsibilities and authority which belong to the different roofs under which we live’. 3) With a lack of privacy and no demarcation of personal, private relationships the priest often lacks a firm self-identity. ‘Without a spiritual life and a good friend he is like a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal’. In addition, there is a lack of clarity of his role as a professional, he receives little praise from anyone including superiors so he does not know how well he is doing. The author stresses the importance of the priest’s everyday confrontation with living theology in the people he serves and that is not used or appreciated.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Note

Published in The National Catholic Reporter, 17 May 1967, p. 6.
Annotated top right: "Vim v. Harrie".
The article was published in Intimacy : pastoral psychological essays / Henri J. M. Nouwen. Imprint Notre Dame, Ind. : Fides Publishers, c1969 as Chapter 7 , 'The Priest and his mental health'.

Alternative identifier(s)

Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 294

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Rules and/or conventions used

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places