Friday, 21 October 2011

Joy of the Priesthood: Fr Andrew Allman

Today we begin a new series, 'the Joy of the Priesthood', in partnership with the Catholic Voice of Lancaster, our diocesan newspaper (website here). Each month a different priest of our Diocese will say where they find joy and happiness in the priesthood. As Vocations Director, I'm getting the ball rolling, so here are my thoughts...

We are sometimes reminded that the word ‘Gospel’ means ‘good news’. For me, when I hear some good news I can’t wait to tell people – and that’s true of the Gospel too! One of my greatest joys as a priest is sharing the message of salvation. I love preaching at Mass, speaking about Christ and teaching others about our faith. This sharing the Gospel is about more than words. I remember once, soon after my ordination, being called to see a woman who had just found out she was terminally ill. I heard her confession, anointed her and gave her Holy Communion. “You have made me very happy”, she told me. I only met her that one time and don’t even remember her name, but it strikes me that no one other than a priest could have brought her happiness on that day. Through the sacraments I was able to share the Gospel with her. It wasn’t really me who had made her “very happy” – rather, it was the Lord who had worked through me to console her and give her hope that day. What a gift it was – for both of us!