SHOULD a priest be aloof, concentrating on the sacred, or should he identify with the faithful and find fulfilment in a fight for social justice? These questions were asked by Fr, Thomas Corbishley, S.J„ last Saturday when he preached at the Jesuits' Farm Street church at a concelebrated Mass to mark the Golden Jubilee of Fr. Martin
D'Arcy, &J., in the priesthood.
In Fir. D'Arcy — one of the century's leading Catholic writers — these two aspects of the priestly vocation had been marvellously reconciled, Fr. Corbishley said.
"Any consideration of the office of the priest will be inadequate unless it takes notice of that double polarity of his vocation . . . the priest can realise his function truly only if he is rooted both in the human and the divine."
He was "taken out of mankind and appointed to act for men in their relations with God," yet he could be fully eepresentative of mankind only in the degree in which he remained fully human.
"If, then. the priest is called upon to sacrifice scene of the intimate joys of human experience the better to show the universality of his love, this is not loss but gain, provided he remembers that his function is to bring Christ's sanctifying grace to every aspect of man's variegated life . . .
"Few priests in our lifetime have so enabled us to see the glorious truth in all its richness as has the priest whom today we salute with gratitude and pride," said Fr. Corbishl ey Though 83, Fr. D'Arcy remains lithe and energetic and is still writing, though he very recently called a halt to the round of lecture programmes he has undertaken in the United States in recent years. Fr. D'Arcy was born at Bath in 1888, educated at Stonyhurst, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1906.
He became Rector and later