Will Pope Francis make celibacy optional? This is the million dollar question everybody is asking these days. Well, we never waited for a Pope or other high official in the Catholic Church to make the move. We always believed that adults in faith should do the first step. We still feel ourselves as priests because we firmly believe in the teaching of the church that once a priest always a priest! Besides other christians have grown in faith and are asking for married priests to lead communities. They feel that the time is ripe for married priesthood. Many people feel today that married priesthood will be in a good position to evangelize as they face the same difficulties and opportunities of other families. On the other hand the church has to do something with the loss of vocations for priesthood. No organisation or company would survive if very few young people join it. The church has the eucharist which gives it a never ending energy. No with less priests, celebration of the eucharist would not be possible. Asking some wonderful married people to join priesthood would not only increase the number of priests but would strengthen the sense of the local communities.

Today we present you with two other stories of women who have some special feelings towards their priests. They too feel that their priests are paying lots of attention towards them. Today we had to do some editing in order to make the first story shorter and to be understandable in English for everybody.

Story 1:

I am Jane and this is the story about Fr Jim and myself. I’m in my twenties and Fr. Jim is in his thirties. Last December I saw the priest during mass. I just said to myself ohh.. He had some type of attraction which I couldn’t explain.

On another occasion while I was doing my work, segregating clothes for poor people, I felt something strange, that there was somebody staring at me. Then I saw him. I just couldn’t figure it out if I was the one who he was staring at, or I was just dreaming.

Now, this year January, I met him at a medical mission. He offered me fruits. That was the first time I talked to him. The last day of January was my birthday I celebrated in church and I brought some pizza to eat with my friends. I was with my co-worker who was a nun. She introduced me to our priest team. I was surprised when he went to his room to bring something for me – a key chain dove. Then I asked him where he used to live.

Then after that I started looking his at his schedule to attend his mass. His mass was so different. Then in February I attended his mass in order to give him a gift – a Chinese bracelet. When I asked for his blessing I noticed the unique way he grabbed my hand. My friend noticed it too.

Then after a week, I said to myself I will definitely get his number in order to get to know him as a friend. We started texting each other. When we were a little close, I asked him if he could be my older brother? He accepted.

I noticed that during mass he was always staring at me. Once I invited him to go to amusement park with my cousins. We really enjoyed ourselves. While we walked our hands touched each other but he never moved his hand away from my hand. When I talked to some guy, he was always staring at me.

Once I asked him if he had said mass. He said no. I attended his mass but I did not sit on my favorite chair or place. I chose another seat. Surprisingly the mass was celebrated by another priest! Then when I looked to the other side, in my favorite place I saw him there! He was sitting and attending mass. I was really surprised. I invited him to come to my house for dinner.

I call him big brother when people are not around, but I call him father when there are others. He gave me six gifts in all. I gave him eight gifts.

Notwithstanding our good relationship, there were times when I felt that he was avoiding me. Then after a week or so, we were back to normal again. We met accidentally in the same place as always, I don’t know if it was coincidence or not, but sometimes I am the one who makes the move as I go where he goes. I know all about his movements/activities.

If sometimes I ignore him or just pass by he is the one who approaches me with a silent HI! Or hello! And he never calls my name!

On his birthday we were supposed to be alone, yet we had companions as we had some teens. Early in the morning I had bought a cake for him and I brought a portrait of him, drawn by my uncle. Then when we were in the restaurant I didn’t sit beside him but I felt that sometimes he was staring at me. Then when I was alone walking next to him he was asking me all the time: “Are you okay?” “Yes!“ I answered. He asked me three times in a row.

This is the first time I experience it. I never had a boyfriend. He is my first true love.

I don’t have intention to take him away from our Lord, I just only want to know what he feels for me. My best friends and aunties said to me that he has some feelings for me!

Story 2

I’m Connie. I always thought I had a strong example of what love was. I thought I was head over heels with another man called James, who attended the same library/cafes/shopping centers as me. I thought he was perfect and we had a wonderful time, but I was so wrong.

Ever since this priest came to my parish I just knew. I don’t know what first attracts you to people, I’ve been told I am impossible to please, I don’t think that’s true I just don’t think I’m easily impressed.

I’ve never had one of those moments where time stops, time doesn’t matter, people fade out of the picture bar, this one person who’s speaking, I never believed in such a thing. That is until it happened 7 months ago!

We were at the blessing of the graves, and they announced the new priest, he came out looking magnificently gracious. Very polite and elegant.  I was needless to say, dumbstruck. He preceded to sing a Latin verse with a sister of the parish. What I felt then was awe and lust, but I have never experienced anything like it.

After the ceremony was over my father went to talk to another priest and thus we were introduced. The touch of his hand actually felt electric! His smile made me feel like it was a special reserved smile for me. He has this amazing indescribable presence! He asked me the usual ice breaker questions, what I studied, where I studied. He had a keen interest in my course, and he had studied in my university 7 years previously. When my father was ready to leave the priest touched my arm and said ‘it was lovely to meet you Connie’

Ever since then, I cannot stop thinking about him. That sounds so awfully cliché but its terribly true. these things I’ve never believed in, or experienced came into play, came into my life for the first time. I feel like a new woman, I feel like a woman in love.

Over the course of 7 months we only grew closer and closer. It started from small things, like touching my cheek after giving me holy communion, to asking me to help him rearrange his library. Rearranging them, I discovered he had selected a few wonderful books he wanted to give me, which came in so wondefully useful for my course which is Ancient History.

About 2 months ago, we were having tea with other members of the parish including the other two priests and he asked me to follow him outside. We slid away unnoticed, and he told me that I was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, that what he was going to do was a great sin, that he wanted me to forgive him. Then he kissed me, and it was a beautiful kiss which only added wood to an already huge fire. When we stopped he apologized profusely, ignored my sentiments of ‘its ok, please don’t fret’ and ran inside again. I was left feeling confused and just walked home.

We continued to talk, mainly via text, but he got more personal now. He told me that he was falling in love with me, and that because of this he would need to move parish, as it was a great sin and I would only be a heartache. I told him I thought I was falling in love too, and he said he didn’t want to stop seeing me. He said, in a much more elegant way, the same I have said about him above, that he would love to marry me and start a family with me. He feels too compelled to the priesthood, but he says one word from me and he would give it all up, and we could be together.

That puts terrible pressure on me, but I’ve never been so sure with somebody. Never in my life would I ever have thought this day would come!

Please continue writing. Let’s tell the world that the celibacy challenge is not just the problem of a person or two but many more people are involved!

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