O, happy day!
Father Paul Desrosiers, pastor of Transfiguration of the Lord Parish in New Orleans, was the homilist March 15 at the annual Mass for priests, sisters and brothers celebrating anniversaries of their ordination or religious profession. Archbishop Gregory Aymond, who like Father Desrosiers was ordained 40 years ago in 1975, was the principal celebrant of the Mass at St. Rita Church.
During the Mass, the jubilarians renewed their commitment to religious and priestly life.
In his homily, Father Desrosiers told a fictional story about a priest in Rome, on his way to a meeting with the pope, who encountered a beggar at the church steps and suddenly realized he had been classmates with him in the seminary. As it turned out, the beggar was still a priest. After the meeting at the Vatican, the pope asked the priest to bring the beggar priest to dinner that night. When they had finished their meal, the pope asked to be alone for 20 minutes with the beggar priest. Walking away from the Vatican, the priest could hardly hold back his excitement. “What happened? What did the pope say? Did he hear your confession?” The beggar priest replied: “No, the pope wanted me to hear his confession. I asked him, ‘How can I hear your confession? I’m just a beggar?’ And the pope said, ‘So am I. We’re all beggars before the Lord.’” Father Desrosiers said those in religious life pray “each day that we will be a better disciple tomorrow. In that spirit, we gather around the table of the Lord, recommitting our priesthood and religious life to the Lord and knowing very deeply how much God loves us. And that’s a reason to celebrate.”