Father McGeary

Father McGeary had been a navy chaplain and the chaplain at a women’s jail and detention center before he was assigned to the parish. He looked just like a stereotypical Southie mick because that’s who he was. He was the middle child in a rambunctious, second generation, South Boston, Irish-American family.

When the paperboy came around on Saturday mornings, he opened a box of sugar coated chocolate doughnuts and offered the kid a seat so he could eat some doughnuts and drink hot chocolate. They didn’t talk religion. They debated sports; teams, players, bad plays, and bad refs.

Father McG did what good priests are meant to do. He paid attention. He befriended a hippy girl. When he saw her walking, the 5 miles to town from the dilapidated house she lived in, he stopped and offered her a ride. He went out of his way to take her where she was going. She asked him hard questions, “Do you believe people will go to hell for living together without being married? Is abortion a sin?” He responded with harder answers, “You’re the only one who can make decisions for the life you live. Those judgments are not mine to make.” He liked that girl. Life would give her all the answers she needed.

Father hadn’t always been a priest. He’d lived a different life, before he was ordained in middle-age. He heard what was said. He gave what he had without reservation or sanctimony. He didn’t worry about sin. Sin took care of itself.

About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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12 Responses to Father McGeary

  1. Doug says:

    smart man that Father McGeary.

    • elroyjones says:

      Wonderful man. There’s a story there.
      I am very pleased, as always, to hear from you. I can’t comment on your blog but I have enjoyed your poems and political observations.

      • Doug says:

        Oh, Elroy…If you are saying you can’t comment on 1xPad.com…most of the time I just post status and links there…I don’t have to go inside the admin to do so. That’s why some post don’t have a comment options.

        By the way, I linked to your site here. http://harleyspoke.net hope that is OK.


      • elroyjones says:

        LOVE that you did that! You never have to worry about asking me. I saw it in my referrers and wondered but did not click because I am frazzled and hurried. Thanks very much!

  2. Really like this. Would like to hear more about him. Good that you steered clear of all the usual priest stereotypes

  3. Not a fan of the clergy of any sort especially not Catholic priests. Sorry. I’m sure this guy was a great fellow, but I am suspicious of any male that joins an organization that demands celibacy. I don’t think it’s possible so it makes me think there is other reasons for joining other than serving god. Not trying to offend, but wanted to be honest. HF

    • elroyjones says:

      He wasn’t ordained until he was almost 50. There have been some very bad priests. Trust me when I say this guy wasn’t one of them. He’s long dead but his relatives are still living so I hope to find out about his earlier life. There is a story there and I wonder if it is a tragedy of true love lost or an affliction that he felt prevented him from living a family life.
      I may not have voiced this before but I am extremely skeptical of the devout. Quite frankly there are a lot of hypocrites hiding behind religion. I never felt that with him.
      HF, you are as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. We are friends (don’t try to worm your way out of it- we ARE!) we can have differences. I will never be offended by your opinion.

      • You crack me up! I guess I’ve lived too long and seen too much. The world has kindness. I know that. I try to exhibit that. But the world has great villainy, too. I have seen so much pain and hatred, I guess it has made me less understanding and more judgmental. Anyhoo, have a great day and I’ll be praying for you that you get straighten out and start believing in a god, some god, one of the gods, hey, take your pick! HF

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