Parish priest was being honoured at a dinner on the twenty-fifth
anniversary of his arrival in that parish. A leading local politician,
who was a member of the congregation, was chosen to make the
presentation and give a little speech at the dinner, but he was delayed
in traffic, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they
"You will understand," he said, "the seal of the confessional can never
be broken. However, I got my first impressions of the parish from the
first confession I heard here. I can only hint vaguely about this, but when I
came here twenty-five years ago I thought I had been assigned to a
terrible place.

"The very first chap who entered my confessional told me how he had
stolen a television set, and when stopped by the police, had almost murdered
the officer. Further, he told me he had stolen money from his parents,
embezzled money from his place of business, had an affair with his
boss's wife, taken illegal drugs, and gave VD to his sister.

"I was appalled. But as the days went on I knew that my people were not
all like that, and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of understanding
and loving people."

Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of
apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation
and give his talk. "I'll never forget the first day our parish priest
arrived in this parish," said the politician. "In fact, I had the
honor of being the first one to go to him in confession."


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