A Good Catholic Priest, and a Funny Catholic Joke

Hopefully, later today, I’ll have a post on sola Scriptura done and ready to go. But for now, I wanted to share a good joke I heard yesterday morning from Fr. Pat Tobin, a truly remarkable priest. If you’re not familiar with him, check him out: he’s almost certainly a saint. He gave retreats with Mother Teresa for many years, started the first (and largest) food bank in Kansas City and a variety of other still-active social programs, and is powerfully pro-life. He avoided the trap many Catholics fall into, where they advocate for the unborn or the poor. He has an incredible amount of energy for any one person to have, but especially for an eighty year-old man. Even the Catholic breakfast I saw him at was sheer generosity: he was asked to fill in last-minute, and happily obliged, after finishing at morning Mass. He said something witty and profound during the question and answer session that describes him well: “I know what I need to do next, but I don’t know what I need to neglect.” That’s a problem that I think a lot of Catholics face: so many good causes, so little time. Seeing someone as active as Fr. Tobin facing that same frustration was edifying.

Anyways, since he was a last-minute replacement, Fr. Tobin had a couple of stock jokes he used to put the audience into a hearty mood. One of them I found very funny. Paraphrasing somewhat, the joke went like this:

A Catholic priest used to go down to the racetrack every week. He’d walk up to a certain horse, bless him, and then go and bet on him. Every week, whichever horse he blessed would – against all odds – come in first. Word spread of this soon enough, and a number of the priest’s Protestant friends heard of this. One week, they followed the priest to the track, and bet on the horse they saw him with. To their shock, the horse finished dead last, staggering to the finish line. Angered, the priest’s friends demanded an explanation: “Every week, you bless a horse, and he finishes first. The first week we rely on your blessing, the horse finishes dead last! What gives?” The priest shook his head, and said, “That’s the trouble with you Protestants. You don’t know the difference between a blessing and Last Rites.”

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