Monday, May 24, 2010

The Priest and the Politician: A Lesson on Time Management, Being Late and Public Speaking

After thirty years in the same parish, Farther O'Malley was saying his farewells at his retrement dinner. An eminent member of the congregation- a leading politician- had been asked to make a presentation and a short speech, but was late arriving.

So the priest took it upon himself to fill the time, and stood up to the microphone:

" I remember the first confession I heard here thirty years ago and it worried me as to what sort of place I'd come to...That first confession remains the worst I've ever heard. The young man confessed that he'd stolen a TV from a neighbor and lied to the police when he was questioned, successfully blaming it on a known criminal. He said that he'd stolen money from his parents and from his employer; that he'd had affairs with several of his friends' wives; that he'd taken hard drugs, and had slept with his cousin and given her VD. You can imagine whatI thought... However, I am pleased to say that as the days passed, I soon realized that this sad young man was a frightful exception and that this parish was indeed a wonderful place full of kind and decent people..."

At this point the politician arrived and apologized for being late, and excited to take the stage, he immediately stepped up to the microphone and pulled his speech from his pocket:

"I'll always remember when Father O'Malley first came to our parish," said the politician, "In fact, I'm pretty certain that I was the first person in the parish that he heard in confession..."

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