Pontiff says that, like many priests, he has sometimes felt isolated and gloomy

A priest is called to be in the midst of his flock, protecting his people, searching for those who are lost and always serving those in need, Pope Francis has told the world’s priests.

If a priest wants to overcome those inevitable moments of sadness, exhaustion and boredom, as well as discover his true identity, he must head for the exit sign, going outside himself to be with God and his people, he said during the Chrism Mass in St Peter’s Basilica.

He must also be a dutiful servant who listens to people’s need and builds a church whose doors are wide open, offering refuge for sinners, a home for the homeless, comfort for the sick and God’s word and joy for the young, he said.