priest

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a dumb priest never got a parish

You'll never get what you want if you don't ask for it. Although I'm nervous, I'm going to ask my boss for a raise. After all, a dumb priest never got a parish, so what's the worst that can happen if I ask?
See also: dumb, never, priest

once a priest, always a priest

1. Once a man chooses to become a priest of the church, especially the Catholic church, it must remain his vocation for the rest of his life. You must weigh this decision carefully, Tom, for it is not one to be made lightly. Once a priest, always a priest.
2. A person who dedicated their life to serving God as part of the clergy will always retain certain tendencies and values gained from that position, even if they leave later on in life. I left the church a few years ago, but I still find myself examining what happens in my life and adapting it into sermons, of sorts. Once a priest, always a priest, I suppose.
See also: always, once, priest
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Once a priest, always a priest,

 and Once a whore, always a whore.
Prov. A person who has done a certain kind of job will always have the characteristics of people who do that job, even after he or she no longer does that kind of work. (This can be applied to many different occupations.) Alan: My cousin left the clergy, but boy! He still preaches at me all the time. Jane: Once a priest, always a priest, huh?
See also: always, once, priest
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
Now imagine a Priest, whose mouth is at M, and whose front semicircle(AMB) is consequently coloured red, while his hinder semicircle is green; so that the diameter AB divides the green from the red.
"Come, Priests of the Flaming God!" she cried, "and make ready the sacrifice."
The priests screamed out their rage and disappointment.
In the line of priests an altercation arose as to who should have first place.
"The others are all more ugly than the priests," she replied.
"One is never thinking of the real sorrow," said the strange priest. "One can only be kind when it comes."
But although he had already made up his mind to become a priest he was as yet only a deacon.
The priest was a large man with beaming, kindly eyes, and a round jovial face.
"Doubt is natural to the weakness of mankind," the priest repeated the same words.
"Is there any particular priest you wish to pray with Valentine?" asked d'Avrigny.
Only tell us where we shall find a house at which we can demand aid and a village from which we can fetch a priest."
The priest, who was staring at him with the grave stare of a baby, was haunted by some fancy that escaped definition.
Thus refreshed and sobered, the jolly priest twirled his heavy partisan round his head with three fingers, as if he had been balancing a reed, exclaiming at the same time, ``Where be those false ravishers, who carry off wenches against their will?
They were about to draw out the rapier, but the priest who was standing by objected to its being withdrawn before he had confessed him, as the instant of its withdrawal would be that of this death.
The priest, on his knees, for he had not the strength to stand erect, was not even fastened to the stake, his weakness rendering that precaution superfluous.