Fr. Bob + Fr. Jimmie... 2 priceless characters

Thanks to Damian Thompson at Holy Smoke for the link to this YouTube video where an Australian journalist "tries out" Catholicism, following a 73-year old Aussie priest around as he goes about his business.

What a cantankerous, totally un-PC guy Fr. Bob is. He is just SO funny. But beneath the bluster is someone who has devoted his life to the downtrodden, especially children, as you can see on his website.

Reminds me of an Irish priest, Fr. Jimmie, who was my first spiritual director. I was over in Ireland visiting relatives during the late-1980s whilst a Uni. student in Liverpool and postulant for my order, the De La Mennais Brothers. I met up with Jimmie (he was visiting relatives too) and we drove up north where he had other relatives. We approached a border checkpoint along a quiet country lane... I'll never forget it. A couple of hundred yards from the checkpoint he stopped the car and proceeded to stick two fingers up at the security camera pointing down at us from a lamp post. I imagine the look on my face must have been quite a sight. I fully expected us to be stopped once we then got to the checkpoint and frog-marched to an interrogation room... But no... no such drama... And he was wearing full clericals to boot!! But what a tremendous priest. He spent most of his time wherever he was, walking around visiting people. "Read the Bible, pray and visit the people... and f*$! the begrudgers!" He would summarise the latter as "FTB!" Our little code. One of his many mottos.

Telling this story has reminded me of many others... looks like I'll be coming back to the topic of Fr. Jimmie a fair bit in the next week or 2.

Fr. Jimmie playing golf on Achill Island (W. Ireland) in 1989 (we could work out where the balls went by the direction in which the sheep would scatter). "Jimmie will you stop trying to kill the ball!" I would say.

Fr. Jimmie in Banbridge, N. Ireland (1988), out "visiting the people".
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