A local priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech at the dinner.
However, he was delayed so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited:
"I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had also stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his best friend’s wife, and taken illicit drugs. I was appalled.
"But as the days went on I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people."
Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies for being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and said: "I’ll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived. In fact, I had the honor of being the first person to go to him for confession."
(From a sermon by Byron Sherman, Discovering the Mission of Mankind - 2, 12/21/2010)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Timothy Peck on Feb 1, 2001
SIMPLE CONFESSION, PROFOUND FORGIVENESS In 1818 one out of six women who had children died of something called "childbirth fever." A doctor’s daily routine back then started in the dissecting room, where he performed autopsies, and from there he made his rounds to examine expectant mothers. No ...read more
Contributed by John Dobbs on Mar 2, 2001
Many years ago Charles G. Finney was preaching in Rochester, New York. Far up in the balcony was a brilliant and able lawyer. He was chief justice of the court of New York. As he listened to the minister, he became convicted of his need to follow Christ. "That man is speaking the truth," he said ...read more
Contributed by Steve Malone on Mar 26, 2001
A very short boy wanted so badly to play basketball. He even told his dad that he wanted to become a pro when he was older. Knowing that his son would never be able to play the game, the dad asked the local coach if there was anything he could recommend to make the boy taller. "You might take ...read more