St. John Vianney entered the priesthood in France some years after the French Revolution, a time when being a priest was not easy. He nearly failed to be accepted because he had trouble passing the exams in the seminary. However he became a famous parish priest, people travelled miles to his Masses and especially to go to Confession with him. He has become the patron saint of parish priests. He may not have been academic but his wisdom and the depth of his spirituality were exceptional. He was also tough. He built an orphanage in the parish which the parish ran. After an episcopal visitation the bishop wrote to him to say that he had to hand the orphanage over to an order of nuns, which John was not happy about. His announcement to the parish at Mass went something like this. ‘We have to hand the orphanage over to the nuns. The bishop seems to see the will of God in this, I do not.’ He was very well known some years ago, but less so now. We always called him the Cure d’Ars. In this time of parish reorganisation, merger and closure, we should ask his prayers that what we do is for the good of the people and the mission of the Church.