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Working Lives Toulouse: Priest

People are at the heart of Father John-Christopher Connolly's work.

Walking the dog every morning is a private moment for Father John, when he tells his rosary and goes over what the day will bring.

The life of a Catholic priest, forbidden by his faith to marry, could seem a lonely one. In fact people are always in and out of his house, asking about parish business, dropping off leaflets or just looking for a chat.

His lodgings are provided by the church and he conducts services at home in the temporary chapel created while his church in Blagnac is restored. His salary from the Church is around $16,000 (£10,000).

One of his duties is paying house visits to the sick and elderly. It is a part of his job he values enormously, but he is sometimes frustrated that other work gets in the way of this contact with parishioners in need.

Father John divides his day into work and prayer. It's hard to see the distinction from the outside as he spends so much time praying with others and for others.

The real work for him seems to be the paperwork that every priest has to deal with him. The human exchanges are, he says, what turns his labour into a vocation.