Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Apr
  • 27

Stories of the priesthood

Posted By April 27, 2017 | 4:04 pm | Featured Article #3
4-28 MsgrCollette book

By Tanya Connor | The Catholic Free Press

Bringing a would-be convert to his knees – unintentionally.
Helping relay what might be called a guardian angel’s message.
Leading police with drawn guns through the church and rectory in search of a robber, who was found … where?
Seeing the vocation of parenting through those who live it heroically.
It’s all in the life of a priest. And this priest is 89-year-old Msgr. Richard E. Collette.
The rest of the story – and many more stories  – can be found in his book, “Shepherds for my People.” It’s just been published; he got his first copies during Holy Week. And retired Bishop Daniel P. Reilly, who received a copy as a gift, gives it a ringing endorsement.
Msgr. Collette, a retired priest of the Worcester Diocese, has many local memories to share. And he has special reasons for doing so.
He said he hopes the book stimulates vocations and builds the morale of priests, “because they’re working very hard … they need that encouragement.”
“His hope is that these special stories will inspire and amuse his brother priests as well as the people that he has been blessed to serve,” the book says.
“A parish is a ‘miracle place’ where the gifts of men, women and children … become blessings for the entire community. These very people helped this shepherd become the priest that God wanted him to be.”
“Msgr. Collette has included prayers throughout his book because it is so very important for the people to pray every day for their priests and bishops, and for vocations to the religious life and priesthood,” said Joyce O’Connor, who instigated this project and is still helping with it.
“Many of Msgr. Collette’s stories are about ordinary people who overcame great difficulties because of their faith in God and the care and compassion that they received from their priests,” she said.