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MY “CONFIRMATION DINNER” MEMORIES IN DOWN AND CONNOR.

Yesterday, we had a quasi confirmer waxing lyrically about his wonderful Confirming gifts.

Every day lunch in St. Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast from 1978 to 1983 was a feast.

Broth laced with sherry as a starter, main course of expensive cuts of meat with red wine as the main course, desert and coffee laced with brandy to end.

There was only one lunch to beat all of that – the yearly Confirmation Dinner – bishop at head of tab⁹le – and 30 to 40 priests as guests.

Fr. Joe McGurnaghan was in charge of buying all the booze from the Ulster Wine and Spirit Company – gin and tonic, vodka, whiskey, cognac, Martinis white and red wines, port, liquers etc.

The administrator ordered the meats from the butchers. The housekeepers ordered the veg, potatoes, cheeses etc from Sawyers, Belfast

The bishop’s chauffeur did the carving at the table.

Waitresses were brought in for the day and Father McGurnaghan was the Sommelier. Lunch consisted of starter course, soup course, sorbet course, main course, desert course, cheese course, tea, coffee and petit fours.

The range of liquers starred Sambuca, Sambucca Negra, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Green and Brown Chartreuse, etc.

The help yourself bar on the dining room cabinet had a selection of whiskeys, cognacs, vodkas, gins, rums etc.

Lunch started about 1 pm and ended about 4.30

The poker clerics headed to a second room where playing for large sums continued through the night until 8 am until it was time for priests to leave for their parish Masses at 9 or 10 am

The rest stayed close to the free bar until they could stand no more.

On one occasion the PP of St. Malachys in Belfast , Father Alex Darragh, having enjoyed all courses with accompanying wine – and who then went on to polish off a full bottle of Green Chartreuse called from a deep armchair and beseeched: “Would young Buckley be kind enough to show this enebrietated divine the way to the lift and his bed”.

He was up at dawn, polished off a Full Irish, and was in his scaristy ten minutes before Mass began.

Those were the days when real bishops celebrated Confirmations and a priest with “canonical authority” was not even a whispered heresy.

78 replies on “MY “CONFIRMATION DINNER” MEMORIES IN DOWN AND CONNOR.”

Poor old Pat: riven with anger, vengeance and hatred. You obviously forget that you enjoyed every meal given to you: You attended all such occasions while a priest in Down and Cinir: You enjoyed all the financial and material rewards and perks that were shared. You didn’t evercrefuse anything that was given. Ever. Pat, priests who worked with you and who recall those times have different narratives than what you present. You benefited from and enjoyed all that was given to you, financially and materially: your bills were paid for: your meals supplied: car allowances given: Dues and other income shared with you, including November Altar List. I remember…To say otherwise is a lie. You never once refused ANY benefit. Never….That tells its own truth about you.

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The Confirmation dinner in the Enniskillen parochial house was a big event well into the 80s when Joe Duffy was the bishop. Sean Cahill handed round cheroots.

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Thirty to forty guests?
Even a fairly large restaurant would find such a number difficult to cope with?
Have you not exaggared somewhat??

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Those dinners are a thing of the past, Pat – thank God. Nowadays, if they happen at all after confirmation, they are simpler affairs and often involve teachers from the school. So not those dreadful clerical booze-fests you have described.

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By and large those times have passed, and thank God. They were self congratulatory, self satisfied episodes of clericalism in which clergy wallowed in their belief that they were ‘special’. Note that for the most part the laity were excluded ! I hated those clerical gatherings and would do whatever I could to avoid them. I’m glad that nowadays they are few and far between. Although, I am sure there are more genteel clerical gatherings that take place in Lisbreen. God forbid that + Noel would get down in to the clerical trough. More continental cuisine and fine wines with a smaller select group who wouldn’t ruin the decor and fittings.

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Hopefully, we will receive an update from the ‘married couple’ who often recognise collar-wearers wining and dining at Church expense.

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Yes. I enjoy their contributions. Of course they got at me in Rome and called me a pig 😊

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How is telling the truth persecution? In Lourdes before he died he told another priest he regretted the way he treated me. I was glad to hear that and I wish him eternal happiness. Bu in St. Peter’s he made my life hell.

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What Priest did he tell. As always you are very economical with the facts. You always quote things which are difficult to verify, it’s lies.

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A Down and Connor priest whose name I will not publish for fear of recriminations on him.

He also said to his wheelchair pusher on the D&C Lourdes pilgrimage.

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10.12: How many more times are we to hear aboutbyour “hell” in St. Peter’s? What about the “hell” you created for others, such that you eventually abandoned ship??? We’re sick and tired of your victimhood status.

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+Pat:
I thought you’d promised to bar these kind of rants from Magna. And he’d promised to cease using the word ‘whore’? Can we rely on anything now?

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Sounds like a very enjoyable day out Pat, if they still did that I’m sure there would be no problem getting a bishop for confirmations!

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You do not know the truth. Also other cynical clerics cover up for McGurnaghan and McKinley. McKiney was a classmate of Casey and was banned from St. Louise School by Sr. Genevieve for having wandering hands.

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In more recent times, Bp Pat, I imagine it was, for example, a “young Coyle” who used to give the older gents… well, let’s just say… a “helping hand” so to speak at the end of such functions.

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In your filthy and perverse mind keep telling yourself that you filthy animal. No wonder why Buckley rushes to agree with you. Same mind.

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6.04:Pat, it’s not your mouth full of teeth that’s the real problem – it’s your heart and soul you need to worry about. Pity they can’t be sorted with an electric drill!! Where’s your next adventure going to take you?

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When Mrs Paisley was asked “How’s your mouth” she replied: “He’s in London today” 😊

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5.00: Mags dear, Pat’s mouth is fine. What are you doing to sort out your mouth??? It’s a conduit for pouring forth filth, muck, evil and all things nasty and poisonous. Maybe Pat might recommend an outfit in Hungary that mught stitch you up – for good! As Judge Judy says to big loud mouths – zip it!!

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There is the Ancient Hungarian Order of Divinely Imposed Silence – suppressed by Russia but now legal again???

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I may apply to join that…if only to engage in frequent outbursts of profanity (I’ll explain I have Tourette’s Syndrome) to have the order change its constitution.😆

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Some things never change. Noel likes the expensive wines. Wee Joe puts the request/demand in when Noel is asked to perform a blessing!! Just ask the nuns in Co. Antrim

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Another pack of lies. Which Nun and which Wine Merchant? You wont name them of course but you will name everyone else on the blog.

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There used to be a drinksfest in the Enniskillen presbytery (where the four CCs lived) after the Christmas Midnight Mass. Sean Cahill crossed the street to join in. The presbytery was full of alcohol dropped off by parishioners. It was, though, a strangely joyless affair, with Michael Hand being his usual tense and far too serious self and the rest of us tired and engaging in the putdowns and wordplay which we had learned as a means of surviving Maynooth.

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Quite right. Mawkish stuff is for the wake. The Requiem is the public work of the Church in which the Holy Sacrifice is offered and Mercy is implored on behalf of the dead person and to comfort the bereaved.

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Two up Toal. My Parish, my rules. No harm in the family saying a few words. It can be very comforting. Last year a lay person preached my entire homily. Uplifting experience.

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‘Mercy is implored’? Why implored? Don’t you believe in God’s almost overwhelming desire to be merciful?

What a strange lot Roman Catholics are?!😅 Preaching, on the one hand, that God is merciful, while on the other, that mercy has to be dragged from him.

Yes, what a strange lot Roman Catholics are? Even that pedantic old Anglican convert, GK Chesterton, thought as much. (Which makes you wonder what in Heaven (or Hell😆) he found alluring in it.😕)

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Typical of +Toal. It’s not ok to let a family member say a few words in God’s house, yet some of his Priests are ok to celebrate holy Mass just after getting out of bed with their boyfriends and before spending their funeral fee of £150 in the Pipeworks sauna after?

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Last I checked, the Sauna in Glasgow was £22. A few trips for the holy Priests then. I’m a celibate homosexual Priest from
Glasgow and I frequent the sauna for chat and company only. Come join us, Wednesday 2pm is a good time for Clergy watching.

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Nothing worse than some old coffin dodger Priest stood up taking about the deceased “I didn’t have the privilege of meeting Mary myself, but by all accounts she was a great mother, wife and grandmother”. Let the family speak for God’s sake!

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9.38: I agree with you Mary but some of the information shared about the deceased by family members is embarrassing, innocuous and ridiculous. I’m sure the deceased must turn in their grave at the inanities spoken at their funeral mass. A properly prepared recalling of the person’s life is more appropriate. If I’m not too familiar with the person whose funeral I’m officiating at, I’ll visit family at least twice, a third time if necessary and listen to them. I ask them what they would like me to say. Generally family members are very careful, sensitive, responsible and have a good perspective. But there are some who are an embarrassment. Common sense, care, kindness and respect should be the approach of the priest. These are painful and sad moments for families and also provide an opportunity for the priest to speak encouragingly and compassionately to the bereaved and the gathered congregation. Last week I had 4 funerals and each was so different, requiring different approaches, homilies and imagination. They can be very tiring moments emotionally and spiritually. Golden rule: treat families with respect and compassion and lead them gently.

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A requiem Mass is the offering of Our Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary for the eternal soul of the deceased. There is absolutely no need for speeches on the deceased at all. The purpose of the requiem Mass has been hi-jacked.

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Noel seems to like the finer things in life. Fancy house, extensive manicured gardens,expensive wines, waited in hand and foot and all at someone else’s expense. Where wud ya get it? Not bad this oul Bishop of Down and connor business. Ach sure isn’t it all to promote the gospels!!🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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Richard Sipe thought he was. Apparently, this is enough for some people.
What a queer old world we live in.😕

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9.03: Where’s your evidence to make thus statement about the new Archbishop of Washington? Are you fantasing about him- with his good looks? You’re an idiot. A moron.

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Magna at 7.10: Are you ok 😁😁🦁🦁🐩🐩 🐩🦄🐩🦄🐩🐩- my little poodle? It’s Pat here: on my way home from Hungary with a new mouth. I’ll be needing you as my spokesperson as I’m sore all over, so mind your mouth, please! Please don’t say anything I wouldn’t say! You know you get me into ferocious trouble with your shouting off….

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10.09: My gardener is a lady. Any objections? You can do it if you wish – but you’ll have ti do it for free and with the garage for accommodation…

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