Secret memorial service?

For several weeks the community has been trying to have a proper requiem at St Vincent’s to farewell Sr Pat Durnan, with Fr John Ford as celebrant.

Both Clesio Mendes and Miguel Zavarese obstinately refused all requests, insisting that it was their prerogative as parish priests to officiate at such things, whether they knew the deceased or not, and certainly regardless of the wishes of relatives and friends.

Having taken this inflexible stance, M & Z told several individuals a week or so ago that they would be holding a memorial service for Pat. At the same time, with a touch of Machiavellian genius that would make the master proud, they refused to announce the event either at Sunday Mass or in the church bulletin. When pressed to explain, one of them said something like “if people want to know they will find out”.

Last Tuesday at 1:00pm, there were six people – M & Z and four men of the parish – in the church to remember Pat.

Only then was it clear to the four that Mendes had no intention of saying a Mass for Pat, or even distributing the Eucharist. It was only at the insistence of one of the men that he finally relented and retrieved a ciborium from the sacristy.

Would you want these priests to farewell you on your journey into the hereafter?

See One Day at St Vincent’s – what they didn’t do for Sr Pat Durnan for a follow-up detailed account by Peter Griffin.
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