My Life as a Priest Gives Me Great Joy
Fr Michael Mapulanga, Botshabelo – With this letter, I would like to convey the joy of being a priest.
Throughout the month of November, I have been giving retreats to different sodalities at the parish where I serve, St Charles Lwanga in Botshabelo, in the archdiocese of Bloemfontein.
One Saturday, I baptised 12 children. I have baptised many children since I became a priest, but this one was different in that those being baptised were also waiting to receive their First Communion.
They were so excited to receive baptism because in catechism they had learnt that they could not be allowed to receive First Communion if they were not yet baptised.
Their friends in the catechism class also felt happy knowing that everyone in the class was going to receive First Communion together on Sunday, the feast of Christ the King.
There was jubilation on the Saturday during the baptism Mass, before the peak celebration on Sunday, when 52 children received their First Communion.
After Mass, I was invited to join one of the faithful, an old lady celebrating her 100th birthday.
Hard Work But Tons of Joy
I had a lot of work baptising those who were not baptised, hearing confession to those who were already baptised, and making sure that everything went well.
There is hard work in the priesthood, in whatever position or area, in parish work or chaplaincy. But in all the work, I have come to realise that there is joy in being a priest if one serves God and God’s people with zeal and dedication.
The gratification in being a priest is what you receive in observing that the community you are serving is filled with joy.
When a priest serves God and God’s people with joy, God in return gives back one hundredfold and above in this present life, and everlasting delight in the life to come.
Each priest must ask himself: “What kind of a priest am I; a joyful priest or a sad priest?”