Thursday, 1 October 2015



Maybe some people think that I spend all my time writing blogs - and nothing could be further from the truth.

First and foremost I am a priest and pastor and I spend the great majority of my time ministering to people in all kinds of situations - especially those looking married and their partnerships blessed.

This week I had one wedding for members of the Irish Travelling Community and one Partnership for two girls from San Diego in California.

My Big Fat Traveller took place at the headquarters of Lisburn and Castlereagh Borough Council at their lovely premises in Lisburn.

Wedding Venue - Cherry Room - Lisburn

Sofie and Martin - members of the Travelling Community from England and County Kery were married in Lisburn.

Sofie, Martin and myself at Lisburn
Irish Traveller weddings are very extravagant affairs and all the ladies try and outdo each other when it comes to style:

Blue is this year's colour
The couple and their large group of families and friends stayed at The Island for their wedding reception.


Belfast Castle was the venue of the blessing for Cheli and Jessica who have been partnered for 12 years.

They hail from San Diego in California and were blessed in Belfast Castle when their cruise ship called into Belfast for a day.

Jessica (left) myself and Cheli
The ladies are on a 12 day cruise of the Nordic countries, the Uk and Ireland. Their ship arrived in Belfast at 7 am. Their Blessing Ceremony was in the castle where they stayed with some friends for a lunch and then hurried off to see the Giant's Causeway before rejoining their ship at 7pm to head for Invergordon in Scotland.

Norwegian Star
Norwegian Star - Belfast

Cheli's full name is actually Arracheli - (Ara Coeli) means altar of the sky.

It gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction as a human being and as a priest to be able to facilitate and proclaim God's blessing on all kinds of couples and all varieties of love and relationships.


  1. Martin dusnt look too happy !

    1. Traveller men are shy and uncomfortable in having to give the "First Kiss" in front of all their family and friends - hence Martin's look of unsettlement and embarrassment.

    2. I've herd that a lot of brides don't want to do the kissy thing as it ruins there make up for the photos

    3. Traveller brides love the "You may kiss the bride" moment. They always ask for it to be said.
      Traveller grooms do not like it. Its not "macho".

  2. Congratulations Bishop Pat for your openness, your tolerance and your efforts to show ALL God's children that He loves them and blesses their love!

    Mother of three Belfast.

    1. No need to congratulate me :-) It is my pleasure, my privilege, my vocation and my call to let EVERYONE knows that God loves them - just as they are.

  3. Its good to celebrate and the travellers know how to put on a show I believe quite a large number of UK Travellers are involved in the Pentecostal Movement

    1. A lot of the travelers have turned against the Catholic Church as a lot of them Havnt been made welcome . There was a video doing the rounds on the net of a irish pp who wudnt let a traveler family into mass as he felt they were showing too much leg but they didn't seem to be any worse than the rest

  4. Pat. At least you seem to have got through the big fat wedding without anybody being shot. Lol