A priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and give a little speech at the dinner. He was delayed, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited. “I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person to enter my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss’ wife, and taken illegal drugs.
“I was appalled. But as the days went on I knew that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people.”
Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived, full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make his presentation. “I’ll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived,” said the politician. “In fact, I had the honor of being the first one to go to him in confession.”