Soon after Daly dismissed me in 1986 he sent a priest, notorious as an ass licker, to Larne as a curate – to watch me.
This happened one Sunday afterwards:
An elderly Catholic lady was dying in the the Moyle Hospital in Larne and her very devout family were anxious that she get the “Last Rites”.
Her family rang the curate and asked him to come and anoint her.
The curate answered:
“I have visitors and I’m cooking lunch for them, so I’m busy. The soul does not leave the body for 30 minutes after death. If she dies ring me and I’ll come before the soul leaves the body”.
The family had never heard of the 30 minute story and wanted their mother anointed before death.
The family rang me and told me what had happened with the curate and begged me to come and anoint their dying mother.
I went immediately, anointed the woman and put her last Holy Communion to melt in her very moist mouth.
Suddenly, the curate burst in through the door and loudly announced: “It’s ok folks. You have a real priest here now”.
He proceeded to give her absolution, again, and then to everyone’s horror, put his finger in the dying woman’s mouth, removed the melting host, put it in his own mouth, and gave her another host.
While all this was happening I stepped back quietly into a bay window and remained perfectly silent so as not to distress the grieving family.
The curate then announced that he was imposing the plenary indulgence at the time of death, made the sign of the cross, and departed the room with the words: “Have a good day”.
The dying woman’s daughters began to weep quietly. Her sons had tears in their eyes.
One of them said: “We are very sorry Father Pat, maybe we should not have called you”.
“You did the right thing”, I replied, ” you were thinking of your mammy”.
I stayed a while longer with them”.
The lady went to God a few hours later”.