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Conversation Corner
John Vianney: The Saint Who Read Souls at a Glance--March 2003

Share a positive experience you have had with a priest, or how a priest has helped you.


Date: 3/17/2003 5:05:01 PM
Name or Pseudonym: newbie
Subject: he pulled me in

My pastor brought Christ to me. Well, he and the Catholic community of my parish and the RCIA team. My sister has "dragged" me to church for 10+ years through quite a variety of faiths (Methodist, AME, Lutheran, Catholic), and several Catholic parishes. Even here at my now home parish, I didn’t warm up right away. We didn’t attend for a year or two and we never did attend every single Sunday. I was put off at first because I wasn’t supposed to take communion, but did because I had not known. I was embarrassed and funneled it into anger that this rule was not clearly communicated.

After our lapse of a year or two (I can’t remember), we came back in and there were these priests we had never seen before. After a while I took a liking to them and I liked the pastor most because he had something that was absolutely revolutionary to me: compassion. In all his homilies, I hear and sense the same compassion time after time -- he was consistent! And he didn’t make religion gooey; he communicated dignity and strength. To see him on his knees praying is to know that religion is not for sissies. Our priests have a great sense of humor combined with a very perceptible firm devotion to God. This is really cool--men with compassion, humor, firm convictions and who are perpetually non-violent!

While I know that my pastor’s role is to point me to Jesus and that Jesus is my ultimate model, it is nice to have my pastor as my model too. His hugs are great; I think Jesus would approve!

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