A Tale of Two Priests: A Word to Our Fathers

Appreciating afresh why we call a priest “father” and why the priesthood really is a sacrament requiring a solemn vow to God and to the Church.

(Image: Josh Applegate/Unsplash.com)

It was supposed to be a joyous weekend. It was my daughter’s First Holy Communion. We were anticipating a nice party, celebrating this supernatural gift. But a few days before, I received a text message from a former colleague saying he had some news. A priest with whom we had worked announced he was leaving the priesthood. Despite his Holy Orders, he told everyone not to call him “father” anymore. I guess he saw himself more as a shop manager making a career change than an alter Christus.

I couldn’t quite figure out why I felt so grieved. I wasn’t particularly close to this priest, yet it honestly felt as if my father had just walked away and disowned the family.

I had had some concerns about his preaching and style of priesthood. He would always slide his collar to the side after Mass, as if it was a vestment. He would occasionally swear in homilies and drew more from song lyrics than the Sacred Scriptures. He once proudly told a group of high schoolers about when he went against Church teaching by knowingly giving Communion to a man in mortal sin.

His homilies were invariably the same. They reduced to the notion that Jesus loved us unconditionally and so we could accept our brokenness. Once we accepted ourselves, then we could accept the brokenness of others. This will change the world, he said, and we will finally be free from all expectations that would keep us down.

I often wondered how repentance, forgiveness, holiness, virtue, worship, and the sacraments fit within this primarily psychological view of salvation. In my view, his message of self-enlightenment and self-actualization had more in common with Gnosticism than Catholicism. That was a big part of my sorrow – that he never got the Catholic Faith.

His announcement was equal parts sad and appalling. He explained more or less that he never really understood the clerical priesthood and that he believed God was taking him deeper into his “authentic self.” And for this, he expected to be congratulated. He was just the latest in a culture of self-expressive individualism to self-identify. He assured us he still believed in everything he preached. I couldn’t help but think his gospel of self-acceptance made his own magisterium.

At least, I guess, he was consistent. Having regularly preached about how the point of the Christian life was feeling at home with oneself, he followed that logic right out of the priesthood which he just wasn’t feeling anymore.

As I prayed and ended up writing him, I came to appreciate afresh why we call a priest “father” and why the priesthood really is a sacrament requiring a solemn vow to God and to the Church.

I was so gutted by this priest’s abandonment of the priesthood because he was my spiritual father, even if I thought he was often wrong or didn’t have a personal connection with him like I have with other priests. As a priest he is a symbol of fidelity to Christ to all the faithful. As we laity daily struggle to live the Faith in a world full of temptations and disdain, as we anxiously try to raise our kids in such a way that they will take the Catholic Faith seriously, the priest is there leading the charge, inspiring us, and exemplifying through his faithfulness the possibility of our own.

How confident can we be in our Faith when the very man who gives it to us decides to quit? How am I supposed to tell my kids and students that crucifying our desires for holiness is worth it when the guy who hears our confessions says that the Catholic Faith is subject to one’s “authentic self”? It is a real gut-shot to those of us who are doing all we can to keep the Faith in a faithless world to see a priest trivialize the priesthood and reduce it to a career.

More significantly, like a father, a priest is there in the most intimate, vulnerable, and personal moments of our lives. What are we to think about his commitment to the seal of the confessional if he can’t keep his vow to God? How terrifying and demoralizing to think that a man you could entrust to hear your guilt and shame could be using your stories as party gossip a few weeks later.

Not just in the confessional, but also in the Mass, as he, like a father, admonishes us in the homily and then provides our very sustenance in the Holy Eucharist. He sees us as we adore our Lord. He senses our brokenness, our desperation. He encourages our eagerness. As we are there in prayer, agonizing over sin or giving thanks, it is his face that we see, it is his voice we hear.

The Catholic priest is not a guru or self-esteem coach, there to inspire or whisper sweet nothings in our ears. He truly is a mystical father who provides spiritual grace and wisdom that shapes our relationship to the Lord. For him to just throw up his hands and walk away is more than a slap in the face; it is a betrayal on par with any father abandoning their family.

That Sunday, I went to Mass, intent on offering it for this priest, still wrestling with grief and anger over his abdication. The liturgy was executed with excellence and care, giving the faithful a clear sense that the Mass was worship. The altar was free from clutter or kitsch. Nothing was rushed or improvised. Everything was done with a sense of poise and purpose, dignity and decorum, elegance and eloquence.

At every name of Jesus, all the altar servers turned to the tabernacle and bowed in unison. This priest didn’t try to blur the line between himself and us, but at every point acted as though it was a holy duty to represent our prayers and offerings to the Lord and to offer us the Lord’s sacrifice that is our salvation.

The homily was on speaking prudently with charity. Ready for a rebuke about the things I had written to the “former” father, the Lord instead confirmed the rationale of my lament. The priest explained how St. Peter’s words applied to priests especially, because they are accountable to God for the care of souls.

He then warned us against putting more stock in podcasts and articles than in the teachings of the Church. With conviction, he firmly but calmly counseled us on the controversies of the day from the Vatican to the vaccine. He did not give us his own opinion or trendy theology, but the official teaching of the Church.

He then boldly declared, “I am your pastor! Not such and such Catholic celebrity, not such and such Catholic news site, not such and such scientist or expert, not such and such politician. I am the one who will answer to God for your soul. I am the one God appointed to teach you the faith of the Church.” It was like a father telling his children to listen to him.

My ten-year-old son said that it was the best homily he ever heard. I almost cried. Here was a pastor, a shepherd, a father. Someone who embraced his duty. Here was a priest who cared more about being faithful to Christ and His Church than being liked or dodging controversy. Here was someone who took his vow seriously and expected the grace of his ordination.

Afterwards he didn’t hide in the sacristy but went out as quickly as he always did to greet parishioners and make appointments for the week. Here was a father who was ready to take whatever may come for the sake of God and his family.

In this fatherless age, part of which consists of fathers refusing to grow up, we desperately need the fatherhood of the priest. We need priests who embrace their vocation whole heartedly. We need priests who understand that in the mystical body of Christ, they are our fathers, they are there as we are lie exposed to the Lord’s searching grace.

We need priests who recognize that they aren’t there to entertain or cheerlead but to be the father unafraid to instruct us in God’s goodness and truth. We need priests who think the Scriptures are more relevant and powerful to our lives than song lyrics, TV shows, sports, or politics.

We need priests who are in love with our Lord and confident in His Church. We need priests who are more fearful of being judged by the Lord than being disliked by their parishioners. We need fathers who won’t demean us by relaxing the fullness of the Gospel and the Church’s doctrine but will truly dignify us by demanding our goodness and holiness. In short, we need fathers who take seriously the great accountability they have to God and accordingly take responsibility for our souls.

Fathers, don’t try to be like the cool dad who parties with his kids. Don’t try to be like the laity. Don’t try to downplay the difference between the cultural and the supernatural. It is your priestly commitment to Christ that reminds us of the supernatural dimension of human life. It is your faithfulness to your vocation that inspires our faithfulness to ours. It is your clear exposition of the Scriptures and the Church’s teaching that helps us live our Faith. If you try to be like us, you’ll never be like our Savior, you’ll never feel comfortable in your vocation, and you’ll never gain our respect. We will call you “father,” but we won’t mean it.


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About James R. A. Merrick, Ph.D. 2 Articles
James R. A. Merrick, Ph.D. is the Director of Emmaus Academic and the Director of Clergy Support at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. He is also a Lecturer in the Theology Department at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Before entering the Catholic Church with his wife and their six children, he was an Anglican minister in the US and UK for over a decade. He writes for the National Catholic Register, Angelus News, Ascension Press, and Catholic East Texas magazine.

54 Comments

      • Thanks Mark, many people need to be told the truth about the teaching of Jesus and not take everything that written in the bible as true. Things written recorded in the bible may of happened, did happen or where grossly using artistic embellishments to make a point. The mean thing is the message that is told accepted by the readers. When reading the bible stop and think about the details being read. Apply it to situations today.

        • Robert – you’ll have to forgive those of us who accept Dei Verbum as well as the Great Tradition of the Church and think it both eminently rational and Christianly charitable to defer to the divinely inspired authors of Sacred Scripture and the ordained successors of the Apostles over the arbitrary and usually cynical, self-serving criteria of those who think they can decide for themselves whatever is true and just use the Bible and Tradition as one sort of resource among others. I cannot find your chronological snobbery in our Lord’s treatment of the Old Testament, so I don’t think it’s a viable disposition of the Catholic. Maybe you think me a simpleton, but I worry that you’re a Gnostic.

        • Robert, you are mistaken to the highest degree. The Holy Ghost inspires all scripture. Reading scripture is not for casual reading. Each sentence contains uncountable mysteries. The Bible is a mystical book filled with the treasures of God’s mystical ways. The Church founded by Christ is the only true religion, and she takes her teachings from both scripture and tradition. When we say in the Creed, I believe in “One, Holy,” Holiness is the mark of the Church. She is perfect in every way. But Modernist heretics have obscured the truth. Are you a Modernist? You sure sound like one. Are you really giving us instructions on how to read scripture? I suggest you study traditional Catechism, and you would be surprised or rather shocked at what the Modernist heresy has done to the purity of the Catholic Faith. Pray and Believe!

  1. This person probably should never have been a priest – obviously he didn’t accept that Christianity is a hard slog. Consistency in sin is what he is supposed to preaching – against.

    • Yes. I really can’t grasp how in the world people treat as priests men who hate the faith, who scorn the sacraments and the gospel, and who think their job is to…what? Would this writer be lamenting a “father” who tried to get his wife and children hooked on drugs in order to put them on the sex trafficking market?

      • James

        You clearly have a gift of writing and a thorough grasp of the Bible and it’s teachings. I have no doubt you are practicing what you….well….preach, even though you’re not a priest. I’ve read many of the comments and scratch my head imagining what Christ himself would say about this.

        I believe I know the Priest you’re referring too. The first thing that jumped to my mind was the Pharisees. They too knew the “law” inside and out…but missed the spirit of the law…like when Jesus and the disciples picked some wheat on Sunday so they could eat.

        Is it sad a priest leaves the Catholic Church….yes. But does one need to be a priest to carry on the teachings of Christ?

        Your yoke seems a little heavier than Christ’s yoke.

  2. Great article…a keeper! Even before stated, I thought of how, overall, “fatherhood” has been devalued, as men (and women) have rejected the Josephian model. Our government has likewise been imbued with elected and appointed officials more likely to serve cookies (“We are having fun together, aren’t we”) than truth that guides authentic citizenry. That loving “author”ity (God the Author of life) has been replaced by a mushy, incoherent, false “liberation” ushered in by the spiritually immature and worldly self centered. Praying for the wisdom of our children and descendants and their forgiveness for permitting this to worsen most intensely over the past three generations. Maybe the youth in this article will be one to lead others out of darkness.

  3. The worst feeling in the world is to be held to account by someone who doesn’t hold himself to account. A priest who listens and advises you to “love anyway” when your vocation isn’t going well and then breaks his vow of obedience to his bishop when his own vocation isn’t going as he would like is a hypocrite. A good pastor would recognize the difficulty of vocations in general and would offer something more than “love anyway.”

  4. Amen Dr Merrick. You couldn’t have stated this better! The priest is out channel to holiness which we are all called to. Thank you. We must pray for all our priests that they see themselves as our spiritual fathers.

  5. Dear Jimmy, your write-up spells out the gospel truth that is both lucid and prophetic. It is even more consoling and encouraging that it is coming from someone like you who is not a cradle Catholic. We need more people like you in our today’s world of relativism. May we step up our prayers for God’s intervention in the distress our universal Christian faith and tradition is besieged with at the moment. May our Blessed Mother Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for us. Amen. We are really missing you, and your lovely family over here. May you all remain in God’s unfailing loving and mighty care.

  6. Seems like this priest left the priesthood long before he officially did so. You can always tell when a priest (or anyone, for that matter) is losing his vocation. I’m not sure why some are surprised because if we pay attention, the signs are there. If we don’t pay attention, we miss an opportunity to help that priest get back on track because they likely don’t realize how far gone they are.

    Let’s pay more attention to our priests – not to be merely critical (although that may be necessary) – but also to be innocuously helpful (“Father, we’ve noticed that you’ve been doing ……. Lately. Is everything okay?)

  7. As I was reading the part about the good priest, I cannot help but think about Fr. James Altman, and his similarity to the good priest, in his concern for the soul of his parishioners. Now look where it brought him? His own bishop has betrayed him. Let us pray for all the good priests that we know and love, as well as for the bad priests that we know and should love, too.

  8. Great article, thank you! I recently moved to a new state and was attending the local parish church for months. When the Vatican made it’s announcement that it would not bless homosexual unions, the parish priest and the priests in the next-door parish published almost identical statements that they disagreed, that all are welcome, etc. I felt as if someone had punched me in the guts. Love the sinner, yes; hate the sin, yes. Teach that something is a sin, but with love, yes. Thankfully, I have been able to find another nearby parish where the priest is faithful to the Magisterium. The worst of it is that the priests who published their heretical statements will not be reprimanded, just as the German priests who blessed homosexual unions have not been chastised. And my former priest knew there would be no repercussions. Where are the priests, bishops and cardinals who will teach sin is sin, not “love is love” and that makes everything okay? If a man cannot be a priest who is faithful to the Magisterium, he owes it to the Catholic faithful to LEAVE, not to continue on to the detriment of his flock and preach falsehood.

  9. I had that very same thing happen to me when I returned home from the Peace Corps in 1972. I had made arrangements to meet in DC with a very effective priest I had liked in college and had kept in contact with. He told me then that he was on sabbattical ( a word that meant nothing to me). Then, he told me that he was planning to marry a gal who had been in my class in college. He had spent MANY hours in his office with her behind closed doors. I had often thought if he ever go married it would be to a girl like Donna. Never thinking that such a thing could happen. I screamed at him, ” I HATE YOU” and ran off in another direction. I didn’t understand until years later that I felt betrayed. I felt devastated that any man could so blithely leave behind the priesthood. I learned years later that he and Donna had had two kids and then got divorced. The priest has one, Donna has the other. I see how that worked out for him.

  10. With his beautiful testament to what the priesthood means, Dr. Merrick has put his finger on the difference between the *authentic* — i.e., faithful, challenging, historical — spirit of Vatican II and the false “modern” spirit which would relegate the Church to a social group for people seeking acceptance rather than holiness .

    May God bless and strengthen our holy priests.

  11. We had a priest that left the priesthood at my former parish. He never liked wearing his clerical clothing either. I didn’t always agree with his sermons and couple times he preached that the miracle of loaves/fish was just mere sharing food people had tucked in their clothes. And once he asked at daily mass when several grades of schoolchildren were present, if they thought Mary was the only one the Angel asked to be the Mother of God! Maybe he asked lots of other girls and they said no, but at the end Mary said yes. I was totally shocked, for many reasons including theological. So it was no surprise when I heard he was now a psychologist. I actually ran into him later and called him “Father” and he said he’s not “father” anymore, to just call him by his first name. I didn’t and I confronted him about whether he thought being a therapist was more important than saving souls. He didn’t answer and just walked away.

    • This priest who believed that the multiplication of food was just about the sharing of food had left the priesthood in time. I know another one who had the same opinion about the multiplication and who did not leave the priesthood. He even became a Pope. Sometimes it is better to leave than to stay on.

    • Your comments about the loaves fish’s, if it did happen is neither here or there it’s not the issue of feeding 5000 people with so little. The real miracle is that they where all fed by those have more than enough sharing with those who had none.Jesus was anointed with some expensive oil and the apostles rebuked the woman, saying it could have been sold snd the money given to the poor. Jesus replied, leave her alone she has done a wonderful thing to me. You will have the poor with you always. You can help them when ever you like.

      • “ The real miracle is that they where all fed by those have more than enough sharing with those who had none.”

        No, that is not the real miracle. The miracle was that Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes so that they were enough to feed the multitude and more. God made the universe from nothing; Jesus Who is God came down to earth aNd performed miracle after miracle, and was raised from the dead; and you think that multiplying loaves and fishes was somehow beyond His ability?

      • Robert, don’t take this as a compliment. It surely isn’t. Are you a Biblical Scholar, and I mean for real. You sound like a Modernist Biblical Scholar who believes in nothing and doubts everything. I will pray for your conversion.

      • Dear Robert, for a modern example of Jesus Christ multiplying food, please check-out the video: “Miracle at Juarez” – Love & blessings from Marty

  12. It’s so sad to read about priests like the first one in this article.
    I read somewhere that the theme song in Hell is “I Did It My Way.”
    The whole self actualization phenomena is what deceived so many priests & religious back in the 1960’s & 70’s. It’s still deceiving us today.

  13. In the ’70s a Modernist heresy was being preached concerning priests. The heresy was that there was nothing important about the priesthood, it was a career just like any other career. That was a lie. The priesthood is a supernatural Truth. The priest is endowed by God to administer the Sacraments as commanded them by Christ. Priests are not ordinary men, we the laity are not on an equal level by any means. At Traditional Latin Masses, it is customary to venerate the hand of the priest with a kiss. This in recognition of his supernatural state that he possesses for eternity. Because of Modernism, this reality has been obscured. It’s time to revisit the Catechism on the false doctrines of this damnable heresy of Modernism. It is so serious!!!

  14. Was wary when I saw the article on the front page of CWR that this would involve comparing well-known priests but glad that it didn’t.

  15. The “progressives” in the Church and in society at large have been very good at getting their hands on education/formation, including seminaries. Too many men were wrongly accepted into seminaries and/or given bad formation there. After 2, 5, 10 years in the priesthood, it’s almost inevitable that such men will leave (find another “job”) or do things contrary to the faith.

  16. If a three-year-old romps on the lounge floor with his father, the whole world smiles. If the same thing happens and the relationship hasn’t developed by the time the child is 30 – then the world grieves. At some point, the “Father” – “Parishioner” relationship must grow from adult to child mindset into an adult to adult relationship otherwise both the priest and parishioner will learn a lot about God but never relate with Him.

  17. I have been extremely lucky to have been in ministry at the church and gotten to know our parish Priests. To a man they are upstanding men worthy of their title and calling. Its a privilege to know them. I have however seen some priests in the media who appear to think their role is to become Marxist activists, as though the end game of christianity is a perfect fantasy communism world (which actually doesnt exist). Such men, whose primary task is the care of our souls, are very disappointing when they engage in such theater. Kneeling in solidarity with rioters and assuming most of your parishioners are racists when in fact they are not, while neglecting the souls of ones flock, is the fastest way to become ineffective as a priest.

  18. Many thanks Dr Merrick; such a central issue for Catholics. Great comments.

    Indeed, all Christians need to reflect deeply on what is expected of their pastors and other leaders by King Jesus Christ, who will most certainly judge every person.

    Seventy years ago, one could recognize Catholic priests not only from their demeanor, sober clothing, collars, and pectoral crucifixes but also by the well-used breviaries they always carried.

    The rule used to be: “In the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, bishops, priests, and deacons planning to become priests are obliged to recite the full sequence of the hours each day, observing as closely as possible the associated times of day, and using the text of the approved liturgical books that apply to them.”

    Faithfulness to the hours of The Divine Office provided a constant awareness of The Lord Christ’s closeness and gave opportunities to constantly draw on the perfect counsel and cherishing comfort of The Holy Spirit of God, so necessary for priests.

    Today, if priests and other religious are availing themselves of this awesome, hourly divine help they seem to be keeping it well hidden. Without the moment-by-moment covering of God’s Word, of course the devil finds priests a pushover.

    Around the world, I’m sure there are priests and other religious who’re faithful; though, in Australia it’s hard to recall many who are evidently so.

    As from the start, God’s Holy Spirit still exhorts us: “Be faithful to the basics of Jesus Christ’s instructions and God will abundantly do all of the rest for you.”

    • The priest today who has the time to read the Devine office at the correct time daily has to much free time and not attending to his parish ministry. Ask yourself would you sooner have the priest visiting the house bound or sat in church or in his home reading the Devine office. That practice and tradition is dead unnecessary.

      • It’s “Divine,” not “Devine.”

        And I would want the priest to pray the Divine Office. Are you seriously considering that prayer is a waste of time? Perhaps you ought to read about Mary and Martha, and which one chose the better part.

      • Robert, It is still a mortal sin for a priest not to pray the divine office. I wish to give an example of a Holy priest. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, we had a monsignor whose daily routine was amazing. This Monsignor said his daily Mass, prayed the divine office faithfully, managed all funerals. He did his own house cleaning, laundry, and making his own meals. He managed the Parish office with great precision. He always had time for his parishioners. Always ready to hear our confessions and to listen to us and give us the answer from God. Prayer was the Monsignor’s power. A priest so powerful was he, that the Modernists hated him with diabolical passion, just as Jesus was hated. He converted many, caused each Mass to be overflowing, long confessional lines. He dedicated himself to his priesthood. One could find him in the Church before the Blessed Sacrament praying the Office and the Rosary. This Monsignor managed what would take 10 of our lazy priests to be capable of. His secret was prayer, he didn’t just talk about it, he spent hours a day in prayer and that gave him the ability no other priest has today. That many priests do not pray the Holy Office anymore are the ones who cause today’s scandals and are the cause of many losing their Faith, they are more prone to accept the damning Modernist heresy. If only these priests would pray, all things would be restored in Christ. Robert, please seek to understand the power of prayer.

      • Anyone whom you ask that spends set times of devote prayer every day, will affirm that their daily responsibilities will take only one-quarter of the time to accomplish than it does when they do not commit to daily devote prayer. That’s a fact. Ora et Labora, that is Prayer and Work, in that order. St. Benedict, St. Scholastica, intercede for us. Amen. All the best to you. Amen.

      • It’s best the priest pray. The development of the spiritual life is always preferable to material works of mercy because prayer keeps one close to the Lord. He will never hand his children stones when they need bread. He will always answer their prayers when they knock on his door. Knocks on the door of the homebound may not be answered. Further, in most parishes, the priest delegates the laity to visit the homebound and nursing home residents.

      • Prayer is never a waste of time, as you seem to imply. Hence the commandment to set aside a day of worship. It seems to me that we do not have enough priests and the are stretched very thin. Priests are not social workers. I too wish we could get to know them on a more personal level but never Lwould i deprive them of time to pray themselves. A priest who fails to take time to pray can find himself going dangerously off track. That can help nobody.

      • If you read the Bible Christ Himself prayed. IIRC St. Mother Teresa thought that prayer was important. You can’t give what you don’t have.

  19. Thanks for a great reminder to all of us priests. It is great to hear this coming from a member of the laity. God bless you brother. Please pray for us priests at this time.

  20. I know the priest spoken of in the beginning and he was the best priest I’ve ever had an experience with, just he wanted to quietly leave the priesthood because god called him to a different path in life doesn’t mean people should be angry or judgmental towards him.

    • a)It’s God, not god.

      b)Why exactly am I supposed to take your word for it that God called a man to break the vows he took?

      • Leslie, God has given us all a mission and purpose in life. He has given us free will, and if we choose to do wrong, it’s our fault and not the fault of God’s purpose for our creation.

  21. I understand the Anglicans lost a priest as well. Did they feel betrayed by the priest who walked away from his vows? Do Anglican priests hear confessions and when they are no longer priests, do they gossip about what was told to them in confession?

  22. I’m going to take the opposite side. I think the author protests way too much. If he wants to leave, let him leave. It is very clear from the author’s own words that he really didn’t think too much of him any way. Why is he so upset over losing this priest when he just didn’t like him from the get go?

  23. You have written a pretty good comparison between two Priests and their vocations but I think you went a little too far when you compared his lack of commitment in the confessional to hearing your private confessions used “as party gossip a few weeks later”. That is a terrible thing to say and very unfair to that Priest. I was a little shocked that you could even make such an assumption. You don’t know what internal struggles that Priest has been going through and to assume that he would do such a thing as to laugh and relay your confessions to someone else is maligning someone’s Character besides Priests immediately forget your confession when you leave.

    and was actually shocked that you could say such a thing abo

  24. Nice article, as usual, James. Thank you.

    As a parishioner of the former priest, I too feel hurt. (Aside: I believe that Father is officially on a year’s sabbatical despite his last speech to the high schoolers.)

    Instead of focusing on my swirling feelings, I wonder what we can do to support our priests. Father mentioned administrative duties bogging him down. Can we hire someone to help? Father also mentioned that his spiritual advisor suggested that he take a leave from the priesthood. Are our new priests getting the support and prayers that they need? I noticed a distinct change about 1.5 years ago in our priest. His homilies started to correspond to our pastors-God loves you, but they never follow up with Jesus’ call to conversion or changing our sinful ways. Father also turned down our invitation to dinner when he had enjoyed visiting us in the past.

    When the announcement first came out I actually wasn’t surprised. Another priest friend asked us to pray for Father when we expressed our concerns about Father’s change. This priest mentioned that Father showed some signs of leaving the priesthood. I write this because ours is not an isolated incident. Priests are leaving after 5 years. These are the same priests who were so on fire at the beginning. What can we the Church do? God help us who want authentic Catholicism.

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