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What is a Priest? (adapted from a 1960 poem by Fr. Thomas Langer)

Priests are men of mystery. They come in assorted sizes, ages, weights, and collars. They are found everywhere – speeding along, walking by, kneeling on, praying over, laughing with, preaching to, teaching about and pardoning over. Little children run to them, aged people turn to them, lay people treasure them, non-Catholics stare at them, and Mary watches over them.

A priest is a member of every family, yet belongs to none. He penetrates secrets, shares sorrows and heals wounds. He has the trust of a child, the kindness of a best friend, the authority of an encyclopedia, the versatility of a commando, and the salesmanship of a Fuller-Brush man.

A priest is a humble creature – a mystifying worker at all professions. His hours are the longest; his salary is the smallest; his Boss is the best! He likes the smiles of children, a good homily, a home-cooked meal, and the name Father.

A priest is all things to all people in the sight of God. He is often misquoted, mistaken, misunderstood, but he’s always forgiven – because he is a mediator, a peacemaker, a go-between heaven and earth. It’s no wonder God loves him. He is a man standing at an altar, who while being aware of his own nothingness, speaks to God for us and to us for God. A although his greatest act is to offer sacrifice, perhaps his most consoling one is to say to us: Go in peace – your sins are forgiven.


Interests? Who has time for interests? Serve a client base of 5,000 households or about 17,000+ parishioners; celebrate a minimum of 10-12 Masses each week, up to 16 with funerals, weddings and Quinceaños. Bless homes, vehicles, pets and other personal items; visit hospitals and the home-bound; long-term planning and strategy, supervising a staff of 10; budget planning, stewardship education and financial forecasting; building and property maintenance; nonstop teaching, committee meetings, office hours, counseling and spiritual direction … all with 14-hour days, six-day weeks that could knock even the hardiest A-type corporate executive on his back from exhaustion. And in all that, find time for personal prayer and reflection and continuing education … oh, and you must always be joyful. Actually I do read some historical fiction, see the occasional movie, and try to get away to see family and vacation a fews weeks a year. I love the mountains ... how can you not believe in God when you see mountains in New Mexico or Colorado.