'IT'S AN AMAZING LIFE AND IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER.'
an interview with
Fr JP Lyttle
What were your misconceptions about Priesthood before discerning it?
When I first started to think about the priesthood, I wondered if I would be stifled, I wasn’t sure if the priesthood would give me enough opportunity to go out and explore life. Would I be restricted to the Church building and the presbytery? Also I wondered if I could manage the studies as I didn’t have a degree and my experience at school wasn’t exactly great.
Who inspired you on your journey?
As I would go to Mass week in and week out, it kind of remained routine until a newly ordained deacon arrived in my parish which brought everything alive for me, this led me to explore my faith and come to know Jesus Christ who would change my life for ever.
What was your greatest worry when discerning your vocation?
My greatest worry when discerning my vocation was whether I could cope without a family of my own and if I could still keep my friends and the people I loved in my life?
'Being a priest brings a great sense of joy because you get to share in people’s lives at every level.'
How is the lived reality of your vocation different to how you had perceived it?
My lived reality of being a priest is that I have more friends than I’ve ever had before, I am out all the time to share in people’s lives and my life couldn’t be richer with the various events and experiences I have the privilege to have!
How has living your vocation brought you joy?
Being a priest brings a great sense of joy because you get to share in people’s lives at every level. From birth to death and everything in between, sometimes in the same day! People give you access to their world not because of you but because you are Christ, you share in His Priesthood. It is a beautiful privilege.
'It’s a beautiful adventure and you will see and experience things that will give you so much life and joy!'
What have been the highlights of living out your vocation?
The highlights of my ministry so far are celebrating daily Mass, celebrating my cousin’s wedding, baptising my nephew and helping the many people go home to Heaven, by absolving their sins and putting them at peace with God before they die, one of my main tasks as a hospital chaplain.
What would you say to someone else considering Priesthood?
I would say to you if you are considering following Jesus as a priest, give everything you’ve got. It’s an amazing life and it just keeps getting better! If you want meaning in your life then go down this road, it’s a beautiful adventure and you will see and experience things that will give you so much life and joy!