With people who have left the priesthood or the convent we should be thankful for the years they gave us.

Tuesday, 2/11/14

Today’s first reading gives us Solomon’s prayer, thanking God for coming to dwell in the temple he built, he said, “If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less the temple I have built.”

That prayer reminds me of a man who thirty-five years ago came by the rectory to tell me how enthused he was over Solomon’s prayer. “Why, it’s just marvelous, Tom, just marvelous!”

Gerald was a man who had left the active priesthood, and he often found that while you can take the boy out of the priesthood, you can’t take the priesthood out of the boy.” With me he liked stretching a cup of coffee out for more than an hour while talking about clerical issues.

An Irishman raised in England, he was quite cultured, with his mother having been one of the attendant ladies on Queen Elizabeth’s mother. Gerald was sent over here to act as assistant to an Irish monsignor, and his highbrow upbringing backfired on him with the monsignor constantly razzing him about his fancy education and his fancy accent. 

The parish secretary, feeling sorry for him, had him packing up, and leaving with her. He found a post teaching English Literature. That worked for while, but a cutback at the university left him and Martha iving as caretakers of a campground. He told me, “I know I should feel bad about leaving the priesthood, but I can’t regret knowing Martha.”

With people who have left the priesthood or the convent, we should thank them for all the good they did when they were active, and we should honor them for following what they saw to be God’s will. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you, Father.
You changed my point of view.

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