Thursday, 23 November 2017

WHO SHOULD CHOOSE PRIESTS AND BISHOPS?


Models of Priestly Formation


Maynooth International Seminar 18 Nov 2017
MODELS OF PRIESTLY FORMATION
ASSESSING THE PAST, REFLECTING ON THE PRESENT
Speaking notes of Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin. Archbishop of Dublin


I am always struck by the dialogue at the beginning of the Rite of the Ordination of a deacon or a priest when the Bishop asks about the worthiness of the candidate. The response of the liturgical text refers in the first place, not about the opinion of a formation team, but uses the phrase: “after inquiry among Christ’s people”. What does “inquiry among Christ’s people” involve? Does such inquiry really ever happen or is it simply a pious formula or at most a box to tick?
When I look at the new Ratio on seminary formation (Numbers 204 and 205) the process of final evaluation is very much the traditional one. Inquiry among Christ’s faithful seems to be reduced to a minimum, except for a reference to the possible contribution of women that it notes “may be useful”. Inquiry among Christ’s faithful seems to be at most an optional extra.
The recommendations are:
a) The request of the candidate written in his own hand;
b) A detailed report from the Rector… including an assessment concerning the outcome of the preceding period, along with all the information considered useful for a better understanding of the situation and for the assessment by the community of formators;
c) A report by the Parish Priest of the parish of origin of the candidate or of the parish where he has domicile;
d) A report to be sought from those to whom the candidate was sent for his pastoral service; it may also be useful to have the contribution of women who know the candidate, thus including female assessment and insight.
Why should there be inquiry among Christ’s people? What sort of process am I thinking of? It is not a sort of ballot or questionnaire or a public opinion survey. If it is to be a theological reality. It is fundamentally about the sense of faith of God’s people. The worthiness of the candidate is to be measured by its relationship to the sense of faith of God’s people.
 “Consequently, future priests should be educated so that they do not become prey to ‘clericalism’, nor yield to the temptation of modeling their lives on the search for popular consensus. This would inevitably lead them to fall short in exercising their ministry as leaders of the community, leading them to think about the Church as a merely human institution”.

Pope Francis never tires of condemning clericalism. We have to ask: Can seminaries become seedbeds of clericalism? It is a real temptation. Seminaries can become seedbeds of clericalism, of bitterness, of small-mindedness and faction building. This is not to condemn seminaries, but to remember that there is an inbuilt tendency for any community – religious or secular – to create its own comfort zone and take refuge in a culture of the likeminded. When a culture of the likeminded emerges in a seminary, it is not nice to be other-minded.
PAT SAYS:
So, they have had a nice cozy conference in Maynooth about what priesthood and seminary training should be about. They were addressed by Dermo and Amy and they all had a great day of naval gazing and all they went home thinking like Jack Horner: "What a good boy am I".
Dermo will not change his habits of favouritisms to his gay pets.
Amy will forget it all when he smells his Mammy's fairy cakes and spotted dick.
And this time Dermo was extolling the virtue of consulting the laity - the "people of God" on whether or not a man is suitable for priestly ordination.
So, the next time Dermo is ordaining a priest in the Pro-Cathedral will that candidate have spent time being assessed by a commission of Dublin laity made up of women, housewives, carpenters, bin men, drug addicts, Goths, nurses, bus drivers, shop assistants, taxi drivers etc.
Of course not.
Dermo will ask his pal, the Rector of The Irish College in Rome, if the candidate is suitable and the Rector will smile and tell Dermo the candidate is a wonderful young man and suitable to spiritually rule over the rough ones of Sean McDermot Street and the bejeweled ladies of leafy South Dublin. And they will all live happily ever after! 
This year, at The Oratory in Larne and at the suggestion of the congregation I ordained a man a deacon.
Next year I will, please God, ordain him a priest.
When he came to tell me that he felt called to be a priest I was happy of course - but I immediately told him to go and stand in front of the Sunday congregation and ask their approval for ordination. After all, they will be chief among the people he will serve.
He was very nervous. But he asked the congregation's approval - and he got it.
I understand that our little oratory is small.
But if people were willing that model could work everywhere.
The "people of God" should be the ones to call a priest.
The "people of God", along with the priests, should be the ones to call a bishop to serve them.
This was the way it was in the early Church - just after the time of Jesus and before popes became monarchs, bishops became lords and parish priests became unaccountable "managers".






ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH



(Picture from our Rome Correspondent)



92 comments:

  1. Pat, Whatever they may have been doing in Maynooth I doubt they were watching ships. Naval gazing? I suspect you mean NAVEL gazing. Sorry to be so pedantic.

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    1. "Hello sailor" has been heard a few times in Maynooth, which contains a right few seamen admirers.

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    2. A mating call said by pulpit pooves to Navy personnel and other sea-faring individuals.

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  2. Who called you to serve as a bishop?

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    1. Pat, was that by simple granting of assent from them? You describe them as 'your' congregation, and I understand the sense that you mean that of course, but could you tell us more more about the discernment process used and how you and they knew that the call was genuine? It could be argued that God did indeed speak through your congregation, but equally it might be said that given that they share a genuine affection for you and are committed to walking the path with you, they would only agree with the suggestion of a call. I am genuinely interested.

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    2. I accept your sincerity.

      I am the pastor of this 33 year old congregation.

      Everything decision is made in common - often at the homily time at the Sunday Mass.

      I will not always be here. The congregation will go on after I am gone, I hope.

      They need ministers.

      I became a bishop in order to ordain - apart from me being the "overseeing presbyter".

      We will ordain a new priest on Sunday January 28th.

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    3. Pat, have you had time to consider the question posed at 09:36?

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  3. OMG is that Conor Gannon in angel wings???

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    1. Well, it's not the Angel Gabriel.

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    2. It's an angel on the bus.

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    3. I used to love that programme Charlie's Angels.

      Now we have Dermo's Angels :-)

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    4. That's not Conor Gannon........look at the fabulous arms on that guy. Conor's not built like that.

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  4. Pat, your theology is suspect, makey up and all for your experimentation. Your silly, tiresome concerns with Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin are boring at this stage. You will never match their stature. Vocation to priesthood is God's gift and it is affirmed by the support of the laity. Both the clerical and laity calling/vocation compliment one another. Stop trying to be so radical as to look foolish. And please Pat, give credit to all those many good priests who are genuinely living their commitment to priesthoid.

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    1. I do give credit to all good priests.

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    2. I agree with much of Pat's theology and I think it is rather silly to say his blog is "boring". Far from it. I wait up at night to read it.

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    3. Try a cup of hot cocoa for insomnia.

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    4. 13.25. You must also live a boring life if you depend on this blog for your "gossip"....and your "daily bread of inspiration"!!!!

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    5. 00:53
      Would that be complement now?

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  5. That picture of Mr. Gannon is scandalous. Where is affective maturity in that picture? Questions need to be asked of the Irish College and his 'formation'.

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    1. 1.02. An inane and nonsensical comment. Go back to school. Grow up.

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    2. I agree with the poster at 1:02

      How is it nonsensical 07:56? Explain how this shows affective maturity?

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    3. I agree with 07.56.

      Poe-faced humourless nonsense from 1.02.

      No joy = no Christianity.

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    4. @23:50 During translation, someone forgot the "R" it should read "Celibrate!!"..lol

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  6. +Pat

    Conor Gannon is the angel is this years Christmas panto alongside Al Porter :-)

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    1. Did you not hear Al pulled out.

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    2. Christmas panto... angels with dirty bums presumably.

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  7. In an ideal world without bribery and corruption and where there were guaranteed good and sincere and well - meaning People of God congregations, that model might be feasible but I can see where things could go badly wrong.. We don't live in that ideal world and there's no point in being naive.

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    1. So, there is no bribery and corruption in the Vatican?

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    2. To Pat.. Get out of that bad habit of using a sweeping counter argument which doesn't at all disprove what the poster said. Just because the Vatican has problems, it doesn't mean that the poster is wrong when he thinks the situation through in a down to earth realistic way.

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    3. My point was that money or performing sexual favours will get people a mitre probably more quickly at the Vatican than among the laity???

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  8. Was that picture taken on public transport in Rome?

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    1. I'm not sure that the picture is in Rome. If you look carefully, it appears that the driver's cab is on the right hand side and if it was in Rome then it would be on the left? That would suggest that the picture is in Ireland or UK maybe.

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    2. I see your point.

      The picture was sent from Rome.

      I will check with our correspondent there.

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  9. Is your correspondent actually in Rome? Or does he just claim to be in Rome?

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    1. +Pat has spies everywhere.

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    2. I would not call them "spies.

      Maybe "concerned correspondents as many of them are priests and seminarians.

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    3. Snitches in other words.

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    4. 10:48

      If people were living lives of honest virtue there would be no need to 'snitch' as you put it.

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  10. That picture of Gannon is an embarrassment to the Irish College in Rome and the Archdiocese of Dublin.

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    1. ... a budding Fr Shirley.

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    2. He's wearing it ironically as in "I'm no angel". Not becoming of a seminarian. The wings are usually sported on hen nights.

      Nice arms and shoulders though. He must be working out now. I wonder why?

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    3. He is in his 30's now. It is gastly and unbecoming.

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    4. 10.41
      Grow up.

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  11. Xxxx Xxxxx and Al Porter were at World Youth Day in Madrid together. Al did say he had sex with a priest there. Could there be a connection Pat?

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    1. To my knowledge Al Porter has never named the "young priest" he had "great sex" with at WYD.

      Maybe it will emerge now as fall out from Al's current problems?

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  12. A seminarian in angel wings on a bus. Pat you could not write this. What is going on?

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    1. Agreed, you could not write it :-)

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    2. 11.02: Isn't it amazing how easily some people make big stories out of nothing. Imagine - the utter stupidity and nonsense of commentary around a pair of feathers on someone's shoulders!! How utterly bizarre and incredulous...get a life for yourselves and go out and help the poor and homeless. Wasters...

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    3. It's not the feathers. It's the Rooster itself :-)

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    4. 20:53 is Conor 'The Angel Gaybriel' Gannon. He must be so embarrassed the pius gay queen.

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    5. Do something worthwhile, blogger at 21.01. Stop manufacturing mischeif and suggesting sinister behaviour of a totally innocuous photo. Get real....

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    6. @20:53 The Saints exhorts him to absolutely abstain from any behaviour which might give scandal, even if caused by appearance only.

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    7. Innocuous? More like noxious!

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    8. As I read your comment 23:05, I was suddenly reminded of the Aghori Sadhu "Holy" men of India. I put holy in inverted comas because much of mainstream Hinduism regards them as scandalous. They live around cremation grounds, eat human flesh unconsumed by the flames of funeral pyres, drink, smoke and have sex. To them, God is in everything and to have any aversion or attachment is an inhibition to liberation and union with the divine. I'm not advocating we all become aghori sadhus any more than I could with my OCD..lol.. but perhaps we're behaving like the north wind instead of the sun, to quote the old fable. Without accepting bullying of anyone of any sexuality or gender identity or illegal behaviour, perhaps we should be so accepting of our gay seminarians and clergy that it becomes almost farcical for them to stand up in any pulpit and preach the contrary and if they do we can just think of the shopping list and yeah,yeah,yeah if there was not plenty then the poor folks would get none etc ..lol. It is important that people know that their priests represent them in that some are gay, some straight and a very few have the gift of celibacy, yes gift, not something I think you can choose and still be wholesome, though I respect some might beg to differ and good luck to you. I think enforced celibacy does not lead to wholeness or Holiness. A willing sacrifice? I think the journey of life presents occasions where Jesus way demands sacrifice, perhaps even the ultimate. We don't have to go looking for it. Like others, I think charity sometimes gets seriously lost here on the blog. I'm not paying obeisance to the clerical club. People have been seriously wronged but what appears to be the routes to justice are just not working and much collateral damage is being done. To those who like the traditional and believe their priests practice what they preach, perhaps they do, or some do, or none do...I don't know. But perhaps taking some inspiration from India's Aghori Sadhus, we need a better understanding, acceptance and integration of our human conditions and complexities and so freed, we might, as an earlier comment exhorts, get on with God's purposes of caring for the poor and dispossessed.

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  13. ANONYMOUS POSTER:

    Thank you for your message and information

    My email is: bishopbuckley1@outlook.com

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    1. Another "concerned correspondent" I take it.

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  14. That’s a bus in London. I know by the colour of the seats and handrails. Google busses in London and you will see. Also the cab is on the wrong side. Definitely not like the busses here in Rome.

    Off to St. Peter’s now for mass with Pope Francis I.

    Ciao.

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    1. Thank you for clarifying.

      Enjoy Mass with Pope Francis. St. Columbanus?

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    2. Of course, Pat, 15:32 is talking/writing BS - Pope Francis did not celebrate Mass in St. Peter's today... Perhaps the poster was referring to the Prayer for Peace presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter's this afternoon at 17:30 (Roman time). But surely someone who can identify the seats and handrails of a London bus would would know the difference between Mass and a prayer service!

      Methinks the only place he/she was going to see Pope Francis was in his/her dreams/nightmares.

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    3. You got me, 21.50. Busted.

      The closest I've gotten to Rome (today at least) is the Rialto stop on the Luas red line. Hint hint...

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    4. +Pat. Sorry I did repost to correct where I said mass should have been as referred to above a prayer. I was walking and typing. I kept you and the congregation in Larne in my prayers anyway.

      Sarcastic comments are the work of evil spirits.

      By the way +Pat I didn’t reply “busted” I’ve never been on a Luas.

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    5. Stop trying to hijack my posts 09.32.

      I never said that I was on the Luas. I said that the closest I've gotten to Rome is the Rialto stop.

      Yes, I was "busted" by the poster at 21.50. I came clean about not being in Rome, but I am completely right about that photo being taken on a London bus.

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    6. "... not the buses.."

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    7. And is my interest in bus interiors offensive in some way?

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  15. It appears that Mr. Gannon will not be the only turkey in the room this Thanksgiving........

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  16. I can't stop laughing at that photo Pat

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    1. ... or this one of St Dominic.

      http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/11/21/22/4696732800000578-5105765-image-m-25_1511304559179.jpg

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  17. Well at least the Irish College in Rome has an angel for the top of their tree this year :-)

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  18. My hope is that Pope Francis will open up to married priests (preferably older men such as in the Early Church) as well as keeping all religious celibate and allowing for celibate diocesan priests also. Pretty much do what the Orthodox do.

    It is also time to enact the idea that Pope Benedict XVI had not very long before he retired when he hinted at a return to the appointment of lay cardinals, and with that the appointment of female cardinals. Its about time I think.

    As far as this conference I agree with Abp D Martin that the lay faithful should be greater consulted about ordinations etc. However +Pat for once I'm going to disagree with you and say it doesn't require the whole congregation assenting to it. At the end of the day most people in the pew do not know a heck of a lot about the priestly life nor how to live it, the same as most priests have very little idea about the married life or the secular world of work. Let the bishop and priests decide, but do listen to the lay faithful as far as what sort of man is he? What was he like working among them on pastoral? What was he like growing up in this community? What is he like as human being? Is he a good guy?

    Anyway all we can do is be like Our Blessed Mother and watch and pray, pondering all these things in our hearts. Mary, Mother of The Church and Mother of Ireland, Pray for Us.

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    1. Yes, I agree.
      I think we have to be realistic and accept that the Church is not a democracy. That has both positive and negative ramifications.
      For example, if in a parish, the people were the sole (nice pun!) choosers of who got into the priesthood I am afraid that we might get the lowest common denominator just because he was a popular anything goes type of fellow down in the pub.Such a person would make no demands on them and "give no trouble".
      Or alternatively... some congregations would plump for the son of the rich guy who would finance the fixing of the church roof out of his own pocket. I am not at all confident that we would get the most deserving and best candidates. People can be easily swayed by whoever rattles his cage the loudest! Neither do they always heed the warning "Be careful what you ask for. You might get it!" A hierarchy system such as presently exists is meant to guard against such abuses. Experienced clergy are meant to be looking at prospective applicants and making sure that the very best, most deserving and most suitable are chosen and once selected, that they are carefully trained and nurtured to reach the required standards. Guidance, support and inspiration should be there at every stage of their formation and help with difficulties a given.
      Does that happen? It is the experience of many willing candidates that it is their training is patchy at best and sadly lacking at worst. So the hierarchy system also has its flaws.

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  19. Pat,

    Does Mgr. O'Carroll know the behaviour of his seminarians? He won't be getting that pink hat..unless he likes wearing Bishop Tighe's.

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  20. Where the hell am I! Too much chocolate; too much (y'know). Uuuuuh!😨

    Jeez! Am I gettin' a paunch? Nah! Just a fashionably baggy hoodie.😎

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    1. Oh dear Magna..! Don't tell me you're goin' to join the oul jumper geezers that you dreaded.. I can't see you givin' up the holy chocolate and steaming Cappuccinos in this cold weather . It would be madness.

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  21. The gay bars are right beside the Irish College. Conor Gannon was seen there with english and american college students.

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    1. Seen by whom? A nameless person I dare say.

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    2. There is nothing wrong, per se, with being in a gay bar.

      I am occasionally in a gay bar, often wearing my clerical collar.

      I have celebrated gay blessings in gay bars.

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    3. I'd say they need all the blessins they can get..

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  22. The Dublin seminarians are sexy buy give me Gorgeous any day. He is sexy! Gannon is a nerd. Smyth is fat. Frank is a freak. Joe is weird.

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    1. LOL i agree.

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    2. @23:54 We all lose our charms in the end! (Unlike diamonds ;) )

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    3. How superficial... all about outside appearances... Schoolgirl stuff...

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    4. And definitely apologies to sensible intelligent schoolgirls who have grown out of that excitable nonsense!

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    5. Don't know? I sometimes enjoy 80 year old, excitable, schoolgirls :-)

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    6. A whole new side to Pat! Cavorting around with the 80yr.old "schoolgirls"!! On my way home from work I used to be chased by one of a pair of sisters in their 80s trying to get in with me.. I never knew which one it was as they both looked exactly the same but I didn't sweat over it as by the time she caught a hoult o'me she couldn't remember why she was runnin'after in the first place.
      I thought it was wise to share that with you, Pat.

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  23. Gorgeous and Gannon are both hot! Extremely sexy guys

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    1. Sometimes "hotties" get too hot to handle!

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    2. Gorgeous is putting on the beef these days.

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  24. Georgeous has chosen a new uniform.

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