Posted Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Positive Experiences By Young Priests
Taken from: The First Five Years of the Priesthood
A diocesan priest:
My greatest satisfaction since ordination has been being touched by people who have just shown an incredible level of holiness. Their relationship with the Lord — I pray that mine will be like that someday. The goodness of the people that I minister to, many of them, it's very touching. Also, add to that, they wanted to be — working with them and seeing a positive change. Knowing that at the end of a day, with God's help I've made a difference in someone's life. When they tell you that, I say, "Thank you. Lord, this is an honor and a privilege." It really is.
Another diocesan priests:
I love it. I'm really bummed out that there's only twenty-four hours in a day, seven days a week. As a priest, I've got to be human. A good priest friend of mine said to me, "You've got to eat your spoonful of manure every day, and the people have got to see you eat it before they'll believe you." And he's right. They don't want me to have polished nails. They want to know that my life is lousy like their life is. They've got to know that our that our heat goes out in the rectory. They've got to know that I get flat tires, that I have bad breath. I can't live in an ivory palace. I've got to be real, and then my message will be real . . . . I think the greatest personal satisfaction is learning to love the people. Really love them. And bringing people to the Eucharist and the sacraments. Christ says that we're a body, and when one member suffers we all suffer. It's true.
A diocesan priest ordained five years:
It was my last two and a half to three years when I really started to make a lot of good friends here and really got to know people and their families. So that's a great blessing. Just the sheer numbers of people that you meet. I can't think of any other occupation where you have that much contact with that many people on a regular basis and are able to be a part of their lives in so many different ways.
A religious priest told of his work in campus ministry:
Probably one of my greatest satisfactions was going to University campus ministry. My provincial told me that they needed younger priests in that apostolate. That was a great three years. I felt the Lord had called me to the right place, even though I did not want to leave parish ministry at first. As far as ever being discouraged, nothing really comes to mind. Well, my own sinfulness does come to mind.