Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
May 17, 2009
Happy Anniversary Father
It is no secret that the priesthood has suffered perhaps more than its fair share of problems in the past few years. It certainly did not help to see a young, handsome priest caught in a romantic escapade on a Florida beach. To his credit he spoke very honestly and sincerely when interviewed a few days later. Very often the problems that arise in the priesthood only serve to scandalize the public and shake the faith of those tee tottering as they journey in faith.
All too often the people in the pew have a very misconstrued notion of priesthood. They have picked up a few facts here and there as they grew up and have never had the opportunity to take an inside look at this particular vocation. Women often don’t bother with this idea since they know it is off limits and men who are already determined to marry and have a family do everything in their power to avoid the topic. But viewpoints hurt the priesthood since there is very little knowledge of the real situation. This only leads to false or at the very least incomplete views of who their priest really is. Perhaps we could take a few minutes to look a little more carefully at this issue.
First of all, a priest is a human being of the male gender. As he grows up he is no different than his brothers and sister or his classmates. He has all the same needs and aspirations as other young men of his time. There are certainly variations as to family background and upbringing but nonetheless he remains human.
Secondly, a man becomes a priest because he opens his heart and listens attentively to God’s call. This is often a very painstaking process. Giving yourself whole and entire to the service of God and his people is not an easy calling. It is often very difficult and at times even irksome. Yes, God supports him but God also gives him his freedom to respond to Him in love. Very often people think that the priest is highly favored in every way with God. There is some truth to this but it is not any more true than it is with other vocations. God showers his love on all of us, not only priests.
Being faithful to the call of priesthood is not any more simple than being faithful to one’s spouse. The two vocations have many things in common. They both take love to foster fidelity. Both need a daily commitment. Both have their good and bad days. Both need the help and support of family, friends and even community at large in order to persevere in difficult times. Yes we are all called to a specific vocation but we all remain human in the process.
Just as there are good marriages and good parents, so too are there good priests. This past week, our pastor celebrated his 38th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. Let us continue to pray for him, to encourage and support him in his ministry. Let us thank God for calling him to his service for us. Happy Anniversary Father Dumont!
Lorette P. Nault