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Reflection – Fr Gerard Lai Oct 20, 2023

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Fr Gerard Lai
Fr Gerard Lai

A reflection on the priesthood

Golly, time flies when you’re having fun!

I can’t believe it’s been four months since my ordination to the priesthood. Growing up I never really thought about priesthood. I was more interested in becoming a policeman, soccer player, teacher or scientist (or maybe I could be all of them at once)!

All I knew was that I wanted to make a positive impact in the world. Priesthood never crossed my mind… until it did!

It crossed my mind on three occasions. First, when I was working in youth ministry; then living in a Catholic vocational house of discernment; and finally during some time in prayer at World Youth Day 2016 in Poland. After that, the thought never really went away so in 2017 I went to test out a possible vocation to the diocesan priesthood at Holy Spirit Seminary.

So here I am, four months into the priesthood in a very lovely parish with such warm and welcoming people. On top of the regular sacramental ministries of a priest some other things I have gotten up to include house blessings, school visits, middle of the night hospital call outs, pastoral conversations, event organisation, administration and attending meetings. Surprising, eventful, exciting and fulfilling are some words which describe the priesthood for me.

What I find sustains my ministry is my morning prayer, just a conversation with Jesus and meditation of the Word of God. I find this is very important as it’s how I recharge my spiritual batteries and I really notice a difference when I don’t pray.

I’d like to leave you with a poem by Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire, which I love. I feel explains the priesthood well.

Thou Art a Priest Forever
To live in the midst of the world with no desire for its pleasures;
to be a member of every family, yet belonging to none;
to share all sufferings; to penetrate all secrets, to heal all wounds;
to daily go from people to God to offer Him their homage and petitions;
to return from God to people to bring them His pardon and hope;
to have a heart of fire for charity and a heart of bronze for chastity;
to bless and to be blest forever.
O God, what a life, and it is yours,
O Priest of Jesus Christ!

Oh what a joy it is to be a priest! I look forward to many more years of ministry.

Fr Gerard




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