Thursday, February 01, 2007

...and after he recovered


“Ah now, Ray, what you need in a parish is some good healthy men. There was a time when the Knights were made up of good healthy men who would help a priest out with those tricky pastoral situations. When, “leave it to the Knights, Father,” meant more than we’ll sort out the parking or run the coconut shy. There was time when they took responsibility; I remember there was a man who I kept telling to stop drinking and beating his wife and children, he wouldn’t listen to me, he wouldn’t even listen to the Canon, he listened to the Knights though, and when he recovered he was a daily communicant, meek as a lamb and a pioneer too”.
A rather ancient priest who had just celebrated his Diamond Jubilee gave this advice to me when I was still a seminarian, he would be 120 now!
Well, I wish we had some good healthy men who could deal with a man who was invited into a lady’s house, he stole £20 and house keys and various other things. She met him here, he has stolen fromthe Church, from me and from others. Yes she was irresponsible but she was also following the Gospel.
I have just come back from talking to some of the local rough sleepers to see if they can at least get the keys back.
I know in an hour or two I will be less angry but now…

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

sure, send the thugs in father. Just remind me why that would be good.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I told the the story because I felt it was humourous to some degree and pointed to another age, and actually I am very angry and frustrated with this particular man.

mary said...

Nowadays of course social services and the police would be involved with that family, which would most probably be broken up. It is interesting to hear how a closed community, such as a the Catholic community in those days dealt with such matters internally, and presumably successfully.
The same thing seems to have happened in the the recent past with ethnico-religious minority communities.

Joee Blogs said...

John Cardinal O'Connor once said: "if you want to be a priest you gotta be a real man... 'cos only real men can be priests."

Fred said...

Hey and I wouldn't dismiss the strength of some women. I've seen some pretty terrifying women working as bouncers outside clubs particularly in Brighton.

Anonymous said...

Pretty terrifying women in many parishes.

Ttony said...

The Knights sorting out the symptoms, the SVP working on the causes, and the Blessed Sacrament Confraternity ensuring that the wayward man kept in touch with God. This was still just about there in my parish in North Manchester in the early 1970s before our practices were Vatican2ed. These are part of a way of life which has disappeared for ever. They weren't good or bad old days: simply the old days.