Father Murphy was being honoured with a retirement dinner, after 25 years service in the parish.
A leading local politician who was a member of the congregation, was chosen to make a presentation to Father Murphy and to give a little speech at the dinner.
Unfortunately, the politician was delayed, so Father Murphy himself decided to say his own few words while the attendees waited.
“I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here”, Father Murphy said. “I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional, told me he had stolen a television set and when he was stopped by the police, had almost murdered the officer”.
The audience were surprised by this tale from Father Murphy and many let out cries of astonishment.
Father Murphy continued with his story. “He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his place of business, had an affair with his boss’s 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 Father Murphy finished his talk, the politician arrived, full of apologies at being late.
He immediately began to make the presentation and to give his talk.
“I will never forget the first day Father Murphy arrived here in this parish”, the politician said. “In fact, I had the honour of being the first one to go to him in confession”.
Image used under a Collective Commons License from: https://pixnio.com/media/beard-man-portrait-priest-retirement