• A Priest's Diary

Jack had collapsed in the cow-byre. He was dead by the time I had gone, in Heaney's phrase, 'hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying'. Bridgie, his wife, was nowhere to be seen. She's in the house, a neighbour said.

She was sitting with her arms wrapped tightly around her knees, her gaze locked on the fire. I pulled up a chair. 'It's over', I said. 'Yes'. she said, and then she looked at me piercingly for what seemed a disconcertingly extended period of time, and eventually added, 'Isn't God good'. That was it. There was nothing more to be said.

Bridgie's eight children returned home for their father's funeral. Like refugees returning after the war to their own village. They hadn't been home for years. One by one they had been forced away by their father's anarchic and violent behaviour. Bridgie has remained, first for the children, then 'for himself' when the children had gone, though I had encouraged her to leave, reassuring her that it was beyond what God would expect her to do.

With Jack's death, a great calm descended, as if a tranquil sea had replaced a violent and never ending storm. Bridgie had crossed into a different life. And everyone on the village believed that God was good.


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A Priest's Diary

  • Product Code: Brendan Hoban
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  • €15.00


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Tags: Brendan, Hoban, Priest, Killala, Mayo, 9780992902384