A priest was due to be honoured at his retirement dinner after 25 years of service in the parish. A leading politician, and a member of the parish, was the self-appointed representative to make the presentation and give a little speech during the retirement dinner.
However, the politician was delayed. The priest therefore decided to say few words of his own about his time in the parish, while they were all waiting for the politician.
The priest began, “I got my first impression of the parish from the very first confession that I ever heard here at this parish. As a result, I thought I had been assigned to a terrible parish. The very first person, whose confession I heard, had so many horrendous sins to confess that I really thought I had arrived in a parish from hell. He confessed to me about stealing a television set. He confessed to stealing a large amount of money from his parents, embezzling some of his employer’s money and even stealing from a charity. In addition, he confessed to having an affair with numerous women, including his wife’s sister. He also told me that he regularly used cocaine. As you can imagine”, said the priest as he continued, “I was absolutely appalled at the type of parish I had obviously been assigned to.” Then the priest suddenly smiled and said, “but fortunately, as the days went by, I learned very quickly that this parish is not, in anyway, even remotely like that first man who confessed his sins to me. In fact, I doubt he is even a member of this parish.”
Just as the priest finished giving his talk, the politician arrived, full of apologies at being late. The politician immediately began to make the presentation to the priest, in front of the parish, who were all still seated at the dinner table. “I will never ever forget the very first day that our parish priest arrived here at the parish,” began the politician. “In fact,” the politician went on, “I will tell you proudly that I was honoured enough to be the very first man, in this parish, to go to confession with this priest!”