One Man's Vocation

My 59 years as a celibate

On a spring day in 1944, two seminarians chatted about ordination to the diaconate with its commitment to celibacy, scheduled for the following morning in the seminary chapel. I remarked, “For heaven’s sake, John, if you can take the step, I certainly can.” John’s response was unnerving: “Well, Harry, I have news for you. I won’t be here tomorrow. I’m out of here.” I was the one who stayed, however much I questioned the rule of celibacy...

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About the Author

Msgr. Harry J. Byrne is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.