Forty Years On. A parish priest looks back on his ministry in the light of the Exodus traditions

John Deehan

The author reflects on forty years since his ordination with reference to the biblical traditions of the journey of the Israelites. John Deehan is parish priest of St Thomas More Church, Pinner, Middlesex.

In George Bernanos? Diary of a Country Priest, the young priest speaks about a cleaner he employed to look after the church premises. Under her care the church began to look brighter and cleaner than ever, but she was frustrated by the fact that as soon the building began to look perfect, the dust and dirt of public use appeared again. ?She wouldn?t listen to reason?, said the priest. ?If I?d let her have her way I would have turned everyone out so that the Lord could keep his feet dry. I ask you!? In one sense, he went on, she was a true martyr, but her mistake was not just to fight the dirt, but to try and do away with it altogether.

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