Old Timothy O’Daly was clearly on his deathbed. So his son, Liam, was completely taken aback when the old man plucked at Liam’s sleeve, drew him close, and said, “My boy, it’s time for you to go for the Protestant minister.”
“But, Dad.” gasped Liam in surprise, “what on earth would a good Catholic like yourself be wanting with a Protestant minister at a time like this – meaning no disrespect of course.”
“Get the minister,” ordered his dad fiercely, and after a few more sputtering protests, his son hurried off to honor what might be his father’s last request. He was back with the Reverend Wilson within forty-five minutes, and listened in dismay outside the door as the minister converted his father and administered the Protestant faith’s last rites.
“His distress, however, paled beside that of Father McGuire, who hurried up the stairs past the departing Reverend Wilson. “Tim, Tim, why?” he cried, bursting into the old man’s room. “We went to St. Joseph’s together. We were altar boys at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. I was there at your First Holy Communion and you attended the first Mass I performed. How in the world could you do such a thing?”
“Paddy,” said O’Daly, leaning back against his pillows, “I figured if somebody had to go, better one of them than one of us.”