Somebody once asked me what it’s like to be a priest. My reply is that to be able to share the lives of so many people, almost as though one belongs to their family, is a joy and privilege – and a gift. It’s not always easy; what about being available in the early hours of the morning! Nor do we priests (and monks) live up to the high calling we share. Each day is a new one in which to start again.

Stepping back from that question, more important is living life to the full, not just me but everyone. Any priest wants to try to help and support others. I am conscious that many others help and support me, and carry my burdens. Without that support it would be impossible to manage our parish and other aspects of life. Thank God for all those from the monastery, the diocese, the parish, my friends in the Focolare movement, and others who are not always members of our Church – or even Christians who are a great support. Not really a surprise!

Life to the full! It must include feeling at peace with self, with others and for sure in relationship with God. Jesus who is God is the source of peace said he would be among those united in his name. This means initially personally having that peace, and then with others. Well!! Are we not on the way in the giving and receiving described above? “Where two or more are gathered in my name there am I among them”.

Yes, it is a challenge and priests know the challenges for themselves and others. Hope is there always, as we have a solid foundation and good support for meeting challenges. Going it alone will not get anyone very far.

It is worth taking time to look at the website: there are interesting things on it. Tell us your ideas!