How to Make Life Count After Priesthood
I would like to share with you my experience and my vision. I have been a Catholic priest for 5 years in Zimbabwe before quitting last year (2011). The reasons are genuine, and no scandal involved.
Within the world of priesthood you see men who are gifted intellectually, very innovative, generous, and committed. These men have the power to touch and change people’s lives even by word of mouth. I can certainly vouch for myself. I have preached sermons that have been instrumental in changing many people’s lives. I have been an active and instrumental participant in humanitarian work. My involvement ranged from resource mobilisation to capacity building, from project proposal to project management, and from project implementation to monitoring and evaluation. Some priests are, as it were, jacks of all trades, and they are good at it.
But what happens when these men decide to leave priesthood?
They find themselves stuck in a world that no longer needs them. By leaving priesthood they have lost the platform to showcase their innovativeness, generosity, giftedness, etc. These are men who have successfully managed big and complicated communities. While they did not go to the university to read administration or management, they are practically certifiable administrators and managers.
Yet nobody needs them.
Indeed, this is a loss not only to the Church but to humanity as a whole because these men will eventually parcel their giftedness, seal it tightly, and let it rot in a closet. Many of them just passively surrender to this situation and succumb to a defeatist attitude. Eventually, in their busyness to survive, they forget the giftedness in them. They end up settling for less.
One successful man once said challenge is the core and mainstream of human action.
If there is an ocean we must not turn back and look for an easier passage, we must dare to cross it. If there is a disease, we must cure it. If there is a wrong, we must right it. If there is a record, we must break it. And if there is a mountain, we must climb it.
By embracing what lies at the core and mainstream of human action, we automatically dare to be different. My vision is to embrace this and dare to be different. I shall not give in to my situation and succumb to a defeatist attitude. I shall not settle for less. I know my giftedness, and I shall let it shine.
I shall seek to cure this disease that seems to say, “Outside of priesthood there is no abundance of life.” I have a vision to start a programme/project/organisation that would harness and mobilise the ex-priests in my country because they are indeed a force to reckon with as a resource in changing people’s lives. Almost all of them in one way or another have been involved in humanitarian programmes.