Fr David Dowling
3 September 2010
On Sunday July 25, parishioners of Our Lady of Grace, Heretaunga, rejoiced with Fr Brian Fletcher’s relatives and friends as they celebrated his Golden Jubilee of priesthood in a special Mass of Thanksgiving.
Historically, the priest has been viewed by many as being better, or different or holier than others. These days the priest is recognised more as someone who is as human as everyone else, not necessarily a spiritual superman – but an ordinary person called by God to live his Christian life in a radical way.
Pope John XXIII was once asked about the most significant moment of his life. He did not identify becoming a priest, or a bishop, or a cardinal, or even the pope. He said the most significant moment of his life was his baptism.
St Paul said,’By baptism you have been raised up with Christ’. Baptism is the foundation of a priest’s identity – and it’s the same for every baptised person. Like Pope John XXIII, may we all rejoice in our baptism which, St Paul reminds us, has raised us up to share in the life of Christ.
Fr David Dowling is the present parish priest at Heretaunga.