An old retireing priest was to be honoured at a dinner for his retirement dinner for being more than 25 years in the parish. One of the leading local politicians, who was also a lifelong member of the priests congregation, was chosen by the members of the congregation, to make the presentation and also give a little leaving speech at the beginning of the dinner.

The local politician was a few minutes delayed so the priest decided to say a few of his own words while everyone was waiting. He started talking by saying; ‘I got my very first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I really thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first guy who entered my confessional then told me that one day he had stolen an expansive television set and, when he was stopped by the police, had almost murdered the officer that stopped him. He had also stolen some money from his own parents, and embezzled from his place of business, he also had an affair with his boss’s wife, he had also taken illegal drugs. and of course, after all that, I was appalled. But as the days went on I found out that my people were not all like that guy and that I had, indeed, come to a very fine parish that was full of very good and very loving people.

Then just as the priest was finishing his talk about his parish, the local politician arrived and was full of apologies for being late. He then immediately began to make his presentation and gave his speech. ‘I will never forget that first day when our parish priest arrived, ‘said the politician.’ In fact, I had the honour of being the first one to go to him in confession.’

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