I’m a Catholic, not a Protestant

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  • Teideal (Title): I’m a Catholic, not a Protestant.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 840121.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): story.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): unavailable.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 31/01/1984.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): evening class.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

One of Joe’s favourite stories – and a favourite with his audiences – actually combines two stories in one.
In the first narrative, the local protestant minister is generally regarded as a good person, and is well-liked by the local people who are all ‘good-living Catholics.’ Because the protestant church is empty on a Sunday, however, he’s afraid that his bishop will reassign him elsewhere. To help him out, the minister’s Catholic neighbours flock into his church whenever the bishop pays a visit, and ‘roar like good Protestants’ – thus enabling the man to stay put.

In the second part of the story, Joe tells how this man – the protestant minister – is longing to get married, but none of the local girls (or their fathers) will have him because of his religion. At length he agrees to become a Catholic. Once he is married, however, the strictures of the Catholic faith begin to wear upon him. One Friday – when, of course, Catholics were forbidden to eat meat – he can’t stand it any longer, and decides to have steak for dinner. What he is overheard saying to make this right is what makes this a good story!