Did anyone have this experience ,I wonder ?
In April 1954, Jean and decided it was time to go see the priest in order to get married. We had a little room and kitchen all decorated and furnished, sitting like a little palace just waiting for us to move in.
Now the priest in St Matthew's, namely Father Quinn ,was one of the old type Irish priests. In other words HE WAS A HOLY TERROR!!
When we asked him to marry us he refused us, telling us we must go for an interview with him so he could discuss it with us. We had never heard of this before, but as the Parish was a new one we knew we had to go along with it.
It turned out to be more than just an interview: IT WAS MORE LIKE AN INQUISITION!!
He roared at Jean shouting in her face: "And just why do you want to get married young girl?"
Jean then made the mistake of saying "I don't know Father."
WELL! That set him off! "You must know girl, it is not just to satisfy carnal desires."
Jean could have crawled into the nearest hole and let the ground swallow her up.
Again he roared at her "It is to have as many children as possible and bring them up as good Catholics."
Jean's face was bright red by this time, but he never let up on her. She was ready to run away. Then, when he had her in tears, he turned to me and roared: "Do you know why you are getting married, young man?"
But by this time I had learned my lesson. "Of course Father. It is to have as many children as possible and bring them up as good Catholics."
Jean was all for going somewhere else to get married. But the priest had our banns in order to read them out.So we couldn't very well ask for them back. In the end he agreed to marry us on the 22 May 1954.
We dreaded our wedding day in case Father Quinn might make a Gospel out of our vows. BUT!! By a strange twist of fate, Father Quinn dropped dead just three days before our wedding.
On the day, it was a stand-in priest name Father Euan Docherty (who was a very young man indeed) who took our wedding ceremony.
Before it began, he came up to me very nervously and said: "I hope you don't mind my nerves. You see Thomas, this is my first wedding."
I replied: "Don't worry Father, it is mine as well." He must have made a good job of it, for we were married for forty-nine years, seven months and eight days until Jean's sudden death on 30 December 2003.
So it really was "until death do us part."
As for lots of children? We had a boy and a girl born seven and a half years apart.
ah try ma best