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Leap of Faith RTÉ viewers praise Ireland's youngest priest after Tommy Tiernan interview

Everything I thought I knew about the church - the big, bad church – was really tested in Lourdes. I encountered people who were so compassionate and really cared for me and caring for people who were really sick.”

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Tommy Tiernan spoke to Fr David Vard on Saturday night's show

Tommy Tiernan spoke to Fr David Vard on Saturday night's show

Tommy Tiernan spoke to Fr David Vard on Saturday night's show

A young priest who appeared on The Tommy Tiernan Show over the weekend has been praised as “fabulous and inspiring.”

Fr David Vard, who is Ireland’s youngest priest at age 30, sat down with the comedian to speak about his journey of faith.

Speaking about how he decided to enter priesthood, Fr Vard explained that he didn’t have a relationship with God until he went on a trip to Lourdes as a teenager.

“My parents are divorced. I’m very normal – well, I like to think I am. I was baptised, made my first holy communion, my confirmation and then after it, I said, ‘I’m done. I don’t want anything more to do with this church,’” he explained.

“I'm 30 years old, so I grew up in an Ireland where this church was just bad news, bad news, bad news.

“Everything I thought I knew about the church - the big, bad church – was really tested in Lourdes. I encountered people who were so compassionate and really cared for me and caring for people who were really sick.”

He said that he often describes his spiritual journey to people as “falling in love.”

“I had that period at 16 or 17 of learning about faith, falling in love with God and the church and then entering at 18 and continuing that in a deeper way.

“And realising that this God is good and this god loves me. And this God wants me to be a solider in this world for him and falling in love with that idea, and taking that idea and owning that idea for myself.

“He's calling me, David Vard, and what does that mean for me? And how can I be me as a priest in this world?”

After the interview, Fr Vard said that he enjoyed the chat with Tommy Tiernan but was relieved that it was over.

He tweeted: “Thank you everyone for your nice comments! Glad it’s over but happy it has aired. Cheers @Tommedian and every who worked on the show that night @rte #TommyTiernanShow.”

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And viewers were full of praise for the young priest after his TV appearance, with one follower writing: “You did well Fr. David. Audience hung on your words, which is a God-given talent of wisdom. I am so glad you spoke openly and honestly about your faith. Touched many a soul I can assure you. Praise God.”

Another said: “Thank you Fr David. Brilliant interview.”

And a third wrote: “Congratulations. Fabulous interview and inspiring priest.”

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