Frankie’s Reply to Kevin’s Update

It is fascinating  and moving to read Kevin’s latest update and how wonderfully well he puts into context the vulnerability of the young seminarians and their predators.I have reflected for a long time whether to contribute to the Blog.This is not because of any sense of disapproval,far from it. It was more about a sense of guilt due to the fact I was one of those young men who came out unscathed while some of my dearest friend were abused.The personal revelation of that abuse from one of my friends before a reunion has had a deep impact on me. That is why I consulted with him before I decided to relate my experiences of Mirfield . Mirfield gave me life long friendships, a development of good communication skills,a complete sense of independence.Those heartbreaking nights developed an incredible resilience and many experiences gave me tcup qualities ( to cope under pressure) probably due to Cerea standing behind me with a ruler to my head .I hope over a period of time to relate those wonderful experiences of the train trips from Glasgow, times at  the Lake District , Fountain and Boltons Abbey. Fireworks nights,Sunday football,fund raising choirs,sneaking to the ice rink , fights over the toaster,the famous cleaning rota,ghost hunting, dormitory strikes and bizarre punishments.I hope as I get going the rest will flow. What I really hope to do is to try and encapsulate the atmosphere created by all those incredible student who made up such a melting pot of adventure, fun and laughter .A number of those characters such as Tommy Flanagan and Paddy Burns have passed away while Dono is seriously ill Thankfully our re unions allowed me to catch up with these dear friends and share experiences. My support of those other friends who were abused is there without reservation and whatever we can do to help, we should. Till next time Frankie.

Sent from my iPhone

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One response to “Frankie’s Reply to Kevin’s Update

  1. Hi, I think this is my first contribution to the group, apart from some comments exchanged with Mike Webster and Tony Kennedy. The latter lived not too far from me in St Helens, Lancs.

    Gerry Mcloughlin – was that the Gerry from Skelmersdale, Lancs? Could the Gerald be Murney from Scotland? He was a good soccer player, as was Denis Sharkey. I only spent one Summer at Mirfield as part of an advanced party roped in as cheap labour to make it habitable prior to opening. I’m afraid that my experiences were limited largely to Stillington; and I guess that my naivete’ rendered me impervious to any “goings-on”. My memories were mostly fond and funny: like that April Fools Day when we carried Joe Hussey, in his bed, from the dorm, along the corridor and left it in front of Fr Rector’s (Fr Denegri’s) room; or the time when Anthony O’Hagan – I think – poured ink into the holy water font at the chapel door. At least it turned out to be an object lesson in how NOT to make the sign of the cross!! Another prank was played in the dormitory: somebody tied all the pyjamas by their legs and strung them across the dorm like Christmas decorations…

    As I left, along with Bill Phillips and John-Michael George, for Sunningdale, my younger brother Frank started at Mirfield – I think -.

    Pity I did not know of the Reunion, I could have tried to get there – in spite of living in France.

    Finally I must congratulate your Group on its initiative. Your efforts will no doubt bring some comfort where there was distress, and perhaps, eventually the odd chuckle when warmer memories are awakened.

    Best wishes to all,

    Tom Heavey

    ps. I eventually made it to Rome but kidney stones made it impossiblefor the bosses to allow me to go to the Missions, so I completed my last 18 months of training in a Seminary at Upholland, and served four years as a curate in a Parish. It was always second-best however, and I obtained a dispensation from the Pope. I then went off into a creer in Probation and Social Work. Now growing vegs and raising hens near the river Lot in SW France.

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