Sunday, January 02, 2011

Restless spirits

L'Osservatore Romano

Today, Vatican lawyers, acting on behalf of the Holy Father, agreed to an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed amount.

The case originated in the Diocese of Baltimore. For 19 years, the Jordan family paid Fr. O’Shaughnessy, a retired priest from Limerick, a weekly stipend to celebrate a memorial mass for the soul of their dearly departed Aunt Daisy, and thereby hasten her release from Purgatory.

But as time went on, their peace of mind was shattered by escalating incidents of poltergeistic activity. Family members reported apparitions of Aunt Betsy smashing the heirloom crystal and china.

And sometimes, when they were driving, an unseen hand would seize the steering wheel and point their car towards a tree or streetlight. It was all a bit unsettling.

They hired a ghostbuster to investigate the phenomenon. As it turned out, Fr. O’Shaughnessy was dyslexic. Instead of celebrating a weekly mass for the departed soul of Daisy Jordan, he had, for the past 19 years, been celebrating mass for Sayid Jordan–a Kuwaiti playboy.

Daisy was naturally miffed to find herself stuck in Purgatory all this time while Sayid was on the fast-track to Paradise, thanks to Fr. O'Shaughnessy’s clerical error (pardon the pun). 


  1. I just sent some thank you notes to people who gave me Mass cards for my Mom, who was a believer, and not Catholic.
    I didn't acknowledge the Mass cards, for these same people know that Mom, and myself, reject these things as man made doctrines and not of God, and His Word.

    Interesting story, since I live in Baltimore. First I heard of it.

    Funny how you can tell Catholics that this is nonsense, and yet they go right ahead and proceed. I don't know what that is.

  2. Are you sure this isn't an Onion story?

    "Family Pays Priest To Tell Annoying, Departed Aunt She's Overstayed Her Welcome"

  3. Yes, it does have an Onionesque quality.