842. Last words


The grouchy old archbishop was on his death bed. For decades he’d governed his diocese with a dictatorial hand. Now he was a garrulous old fool who was used to getting his own way. Despite all that, his age had given him a veneer of holiness. People were in awe.

Reverend Father Hainsworth was designated to fuss over the archbishop in his last days. Do this! Do that! The Reverend Father did it all, but never to the satisfaction of the dying archbishop. The pillow had been arranged uncomfortably.

“Get out of my sight, you blinking idiot!” shouted the archbishop. Father Hainsworth left the room. The archbishop died, alone.

“Father! Father!” entreated the swarming Press. “What were the great archbishop’s final words?”

Father Hainsworth put on his best unctuous voice: “Draw the blind, Father; I wish to sleep.”

36 thoughts on “842. Last words

  1. Cynthia Jobin

    And now, in Confession, Father Hainsworth must accuse himself of being a liar…but wait, it was just a white lie, only a venial sin…in fact it may have even been virtue, rather than sin, because a “greater good” was served…..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Cynthia Jobin

        You have reminded me…wow, it’s been ages since I thought about my junior year in college…required Theology course, we spent all semester on the Summa. We were taught by the Dominicans, who always had a bone to pick with the Jesuits, just up the street at BC. Most of my classmates were smitten with Father Maher, young and handsome in his cream colored robe, but I was becoming quite agnostic at the time and cut out of as many classes as I could…..ah youth!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      I suppose I’ve slightly “fictionalized” a real event. In the 1930s Archbishop Redwood died in New Zealand. At the time he was the oldest bishop in the word, and when he had been made a bishop he was the youngest in the world. The story does go – although unrecorded – that his “last words” differed from his “last words”.

      Liked by 1 person


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