03.16.2012 02:20 PM

Seeking special dispensation

As many of you are aware, Your Humble Narrator is a dutiful and pious Irish Catholic. As such, during this time of Lenten observance, I have – as in previous years – dispensed with the demon liquor.

And, as all of you as who have cast your eye over a calendar today would know, tomorrow is the sacred and historically significant feast of St. Patrick’s. Whilst I am permitted a wee drink or two on Sundays during Lent, this is not necessarily so on Saturdays during Lent. Consequently, I’m seeking special dispensation from the many of my readers who happen to be priests – and/or those of you who possess the faculties to concoct a suitably plausible case for arguing that St. Patrick’s Day is excluded from noble Lenten sacrifices such as mine.

I eagerly await your submissions, and wish your vote to be in the ballot box an hour before the Devil (ie., Stephen Harper) knows you have voted.


  1. AmandaM says:

    Mr. Kinsella,

    Special Dispensation Request Status: GRANTED

    Reasons: The dispensation was requested in reference to “St. Patrick’s Day”, the day that Catholics around the world, notably those of Irish descent, celebrate the birth of Christianity in Ireland through the sainted efforts of Saint Patrick (C. AD387-461). Indeed, ” “Like many other forms of carnival, St. Patrick’s Day is a feast day, a break from Lent in which adherents are allowed to temporarily abandon rigorous fasting by indulging in the forbidden. Since alcohol is often proscribed during Lent the copious consumption of alcohol is seen as an integral part of St. Patrick’s day.” (Nagle, 2009).

    Notes: Warren, have fun!

  2. dave says:

    Perhaps switch to a different calendar for that one day! I am not sure about Gregorian…maybe check out the Iranian…or, given the year, see what is possible with the Mayan ( – use the Mayan for one day only, though).

  3. deb says:

    switch to druidism for the weekend and than recant on monday

  4. Murdoch says:

    My Son. Imbibe and partake in libations and rest your troubled heart and know the Lord is with thee and drink like there is no tomorrow.

    May the God Lord bless you and keep you.

    Rev. R.D. Murdoch

  5. WestcoastJim says:

    I suggest that you start drinking as of midnight Dublin time.

  6. I of course meant “The good Lord”.
    Even the clergy mispells from time-to-time.

  7. John says:

    Warren, though there is much debate, many RC’s indeed take Sunday’s off from their Lenten observance. As a devout RC you will know that one can meet their Sunday obligation by attending the Saturday Vigil Mass. In the spirit of the Feast Day one could find no better Parish to attend the Saturday Vigil than St. Patricks, Carrickbrennan Road, Monkstown, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Saturday Vigil is at 6 pm, which is, of course, 2 pm Toronto time. Thus, you have a dispensation to start tippling any time after 2 pm, Saturday. Erin go bragh!

    • matt says:

      Or perhaps just directly exchange your Sunday drink with Saturday drinks, targeting a sizeable hangover as appropriate penance?

      • j.kerr says:

        Tangential matter: There is no ‘ [apostrophe] in RCs as in “many RCs take etc”
        RC’s could only mean the possession of 1 RC as in “this RC’s belief is that he can waive lenten vows on St. Patrick’s day’

        Warren: I agree with the saints above. Enjoy

        John Kerr

  8. MCBellecourt says:

    I think what it comes down to is personal choice…there’s no question that you are a devoted family man and that in raising your kids and supporting them as you do, you do God’s work 24/7/365. I have no doubt that your kids will grow to be strong, solid, highly principled adults with a keen sense of right and wrong, and fair play.

    Just like their Dad.

    I don’t think anything will be amiss if you cut yourself a little slack now and then.

  9. Christian Monnin says:

    Dear Mr. Kinsella, the following may be somewhat off topic, but during your deliberations about whether or not to enjoy some libations, perhaps the wise words of the Queen Mother may assist?:

    Wouldn’t it be terrible if you’d spent all your life doing everything you were supposed to do, and suddenly you were run over by a big red bus? As the wheels were crunching into you you’d say ‘Oh my God, I could have got so drunk last night!’ That’s the way you should live your life, as if tomorrow you’ll be run over by a big red bus.”

    – Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

  10. Mark says:

    Plenty of wiggle room here, and from a reliable authority

  11. Ottawagirl says:

    A wee dram for medicinal purposes. I thought you had a man cold. Maybe it’s lingering.

  12. Michael Bussiere says:

    Join us Saturday night at the community hall in Low, Qc. in the Gatineaus, following Mass at St. Martin’s, of course.

    PS Stephen Harper is The Devil? Hardly; the devil has charisma.

  13. Cynical says:

    It would be hypocritical to do otherwise, as I open my first Czech beer here in Gibsons, BC, to celebrate an American holiday in honour of an Irish saint born in Wales. And I am neither Catholic (nor Protestant) nor Irish, that I know of.
    Though I must say I favour Jameson’s over Bushmills. Not enough to go to war over, though….


  14. bigcitylib says:

    Go drink all you want.

    I am not a Catholic Priest, but my real name is Michael John Murphy, so obviously I could be. So, by the authority vested in me, feel free to get plastered.

  15. Windsurfer says:

    Would I rather have a bottle in front of me or a frontal lobotomy?

    Repeat in Polish, 3 times: koshish pivo (do you want to drink beer, rough translation).

  16. Chris Rowlinson says:

    Jesus did turn his blood into wine. It seems appallingly sacrilegious to turn down alcohol when He thought high enough of it to become it.

  17. kenzo's says:

    “Hello, my name is Pierre Poutine. I am calling on behalf of the Libations Canada. Screw religion, we are all going to Hell, anyways. I further wish to inform you that due to increased turnout your local drinking station has been changed to the most local and convenient one to you. Just show up a bit earlier.”

    “And sorry about that call I gave you last May.”

  18. Tim Sullivan says:

    As a fellow Irish Catholic, and I have roots in the Cow $-hit Valley on both sides, let me tell you a story. While my mother was visit an elderly aunt in the same-said Valley one March 17 one year, the aunt being much more pious and tea-toddling than me mum, my mom was surprise or reminded how Irish (and more Irish than Catholic) the Valley is.

    See, while visiting said aunt, said aunt offered me mum a wee drink, and me mum obliged. Me aunt partook as well. Again, me aunt offered and again, me mum accepted. Not wanting to make the religious aunt ill-at-ease, me mum offered that they need not partake, given the Lenten season and all.

    Me aunt replied” “tisn’t Lent on St. Patty’s Day. Just like Sundays.”

    If some copious drinks with my 90 yr old and religious aunt can down those suckers on March 17, Warren, you would be in good company.

  19. MississaugaLibPeter says:

    WK, one of first posts you made on this blog many, many years ago, was a referral to a questionnaire that determined your place in heaven, purgatory or hell.

    If memory serves me, I recall you found yourself in one of the levels of hell. If that is still your destination, who cares if you fulfill a simple Lenten promise that does not directly have an adverse effect on others. If however, you want to carry a heavy ball and chain millions of miles through purgatory with me, I suggest you keep your commitment.

    Living with Basilians and on top of the beer charts pre-Lent (during university) taught me self control that still I embrace.

  20. Anne Peterson says:

    I prefer the devil because at least you know where he stands. No hidden agenda there.

    All I know about lent is that when I was a girl, lo those many years ago, all the good looking boys used to disappear from the social scene.

  21. Jenn says:

    St. Patrick’s Day is a Feast Day on the Catholic calendar, so you can imbibe. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/celebrating_st._patricks_day_during_lent/

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