Once upon a time there was an old priest who became rather forgetful and tired of giving sermons at Mass on Sunday.
He used to write down his sermons and then read them at Mass; but more often than not he used to forget bringing his sermons to church; so at sermon time he had nothing to read anyway.
He reasoned that if he had to write down his sermons in order to remember them, then how could the congregation be expected to remember them after leaving church.
With such impeccable logic he decided to do something about it.
One Sunday morning at Mass he announced: “I’m getting old and forgetful. I really can't be bothered anymore with writing sermons I instantly forget. So from now on there will be no more sermons at Mass!”
His congregation was very disappointed and some even complained to the Bishop.
The Bishop called the old priest in for an explanation. Somewhat pensively the old priest explained that he could no longer remember what to say in his sermons, and even though he prepared sermons in writing, he often forgot to bring his writing to church, which meant he had no sermon to deliver.
The Bishop sympathized with the elderly colleague and said: “Here's something you could try. Next time you have to give a sermon say in a loud voice ‘I have an announcement to make!’
“This will ensure you have everyone’s attention. They will hang on to your every word.
“Then say just as loudly ‘I have fallen in love with a woman’.
“Now this will certainly have them all listening very carefully and remembering your every word.
“And then calmly tell them about the Virgin Mary, and all the good she did for us. It will be easy. Just speak from the heart of your love for Our Lady”.
The old priest was overjoyed and the following Sunday he stood proudly at the lectern and said loudly:
“I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE!”
And sure enough everyone sat up in their pews to listen very carefully. The old priest then continued just as loudly:
“THE BISHOP HAS FALLEN IN LOVE WITH A WOMAN …”
As the congregation stirred in their seats the old priest went on:
“I can’t for the life of me remember her name …”