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A poem on the priesthood - Among the Apostles

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 Contents - Nov 2007AD2000 November 2007 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: East Timorese to attend World Youth Day - Michael Gilchrist
Democracy: Religious leaders must have freedom to speak - Cardinal George Pell
Australia's Missionaries of God's Love congregation continues to grow - Mary Pidcock
News: The Church Around The World
Liturgical Abuse: Trinitarian language lost in Brisbane Scriptures - Michael Apthorp
Ora et labora: How monastic hospitality can strengthen one's faith - Br Barry Coldrey CFC
Latin is still the universal language of Liturgy - Bishop Arthur Serratelli
World Youth Day: Wagga Wagga priest's 'fly-a-thon' project to aid East Timor
Architecture: How a Sydney parish church was restored - John O'Brien
Poetry: A poem on the priesthood - Among the Apostles - John O'Neill
Letters: Bishop Robinson - Eric Carman
Letters: Teachings rejected by Bishop Robinson - Kevin McManus
Letters: Modern saints and traditional liturgy - Seamus Mahady
Letters: Petition
Letters: True Church? - John Frey
Letters: Clerical attire - Fr G.H. Duggan
Letters: Infallibility - Jerome Gonzalez
Prayer: John Paul II and the Rosary - Fr. M. Durham
Books: Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating: essential reading in apologetics - Valerie Renkema (reviewer)
Books: ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN by Dale O'Leary - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Internet 'Singing Catechism': catechesis for the 21st century - Fr James Tierney
Music: Cherished Hymns of the Forefathers - 2DVD and CD set - Peter Donald (reviewer)
Books: Books available from AD Books
Reflection: Benedict XVI on Sunday Mass: 'not a command, but an inner necessity' - Pope Benedict XVI

The following thoughts came to Fr John O'Neill, parish priest of Doonside, in the Parramatta Diocese, while riding between Krambach and Taree, NSW, on 26 May 2007. On 21 July, Fr O'Neill celebrated 45 years of his priesthood and included this poem in his parish bulletin with the words: 'It is my hope that, some day, someone from our parish will join those privileged ranks, and discover what I have tried to express in the following poem.'

'Among the Apostles'

Ah! to be in that sturdy boat at the edge of that rippling sea:
Among those blessed fishermen, to be part of their destiny!
To hear His invitation: 'If you come and follow me
You will catch much more than fish, my friends, 'round these shores of Galilee.'

* * *

Ah! To stride with Him those countless miles and with Him to be truly free;
To thrill in those shining moments, when He smiled - and smiled at me!
Oh chosen Twelve! In Heaven you were as you walked in His company:
Would I could race through the centuries and His choice could fall on me!

* * *

Ah! Grace indeed! His choice did fall, and I trembled in the Spirit's love
As 'Da quaesumus'* rang through the hallowed stones of the arches high above.
And the centuries since that day by the shore to Him matter not the least:
All is 'now' to Him: so among the Twelve I stand, for I am now a priest!

* The first words in the Prayer of Ordination.

Father O'Neill, who is an accomplished poet and author, has been a regular contributor to 'AD2000'.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 10 (November 2007), p. 13

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