A leading local politician who was a member of the congregation was chosen to give a little speech at the dinner.
But the politician was delayed, so the priest decided to say his own words while they waited, "I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss's wife, and taken illegal drugs. I was appalled. But as the days went on I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people."
Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived, full of apologies for being late. He immediately began his talk. "I'll never forget the first day our priest arrived," said the politician. "In fact, I believe I had the honor of being the first person to go to him for confession.”
Moral: Never, never, never, be late.
(Thanks to Paul)