The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

A Vocation

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In my day, you sat the "eleven plus" examination and if you did really well, you went on to a grammar school, with the possibility of a university place if you were really lucky. If you didn't do so well, you went on to a technical high school, were you would meet a career advisory officer. This usually meant that you would be advised to seek an apprenticeship as an engineer or electrician, for some unknown reason, plumbers were never recommended, which might explain why you can never find one when you need one.

This reminds me of a story about a 15yr old lad named David, who was called in to see the career advisory officer, who asked him if he had given any thought as to what he would like to do when he left school. The lad replied, "I first thought I'd like to be an airline pilot as you travel all over the world for free, but then I changed my mind and have decided I want to become a priest." Taken aback, the officer said, "But why do you want to become a priest?"

The lad replied, "I like the idea of being called Fr David instead of just David." The officer told him he needed to talk this over with his priest. After Mass on Sunday he approached Fr Pat and told him he wanted to become a priest when he left school.Fr Pat told him they needed to talk this through and invited him to come and see him the following evening at 7.00pm at St Theresa's.

At their meeting Fr Pat asked him how he might achieve this goal. The lad replied, "I'll work really hard, get some good exam results, take a course in theology and become a priest." "Being a priest is not a job to be taken lightly, you need to feel that God has called you to this vocation through thought and prayer" Fr Pat told him. The lad replied, "Oh I've been through all of that and after I've been a priest for a few years in no time at all I'll become a Bishop."

Fr Pat replied," Well, if you go down the road you're suggesting, you may well become a priest in a few years, but even after twenty or thirty years you may still not achieve your ambition of becoming a Bishop.

The lad looked serious before slowly repeating to himself, "Twenty or thirty years and still not a Bishop." He looked up and said, "Oh I don't think I'll bother then, I might as well get a job in my dad's garage instead." Fr Pat reacted to this interview in his usual calm self and didn't even bang his head on the wall, although he was tempted.

"The sun will always shine, even after the most violent of storms and the darkest days."

Published Sat 22nd Sep 2018 02:16:52
Last Modified on Sat 22nd Sep 2018 02:16:52

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