An Interview with our Parish Priest, Father Patrick Broun
We felt that the best way to find out about Fr Pat as a priest and as a person was to ask him some questions.
Christmas 1968. It was snowing, I received exciting presents from my grandparents and I remember it as a particularly happy time.
My bedroom wall had just been painted with blackboard paint and my sister and I drew a lovely picture of the crib. This was unusual because we were usually fighting, especially when Thunderbirds was on one television channel and Crackerjack was on another at the same time.
When I was at polytechnic studying for a degree in politics and international relations, I served at chaplaincy masses. I also had a year as President of the Catholic Society. Perhaps that is the reason that, in my final year, I went out for a drink with two friends, as all students tend to do. When we got home, I was very happy and, for a joke, I said, “I’m thinking of becoming a Catholic priest”. My two friends immediately became quite serious and said, “We wondered how long it would take for you to realise that”.
I studied at the Venerable English College in Rome from September 1983 until the end of July 1989. The term ‘Venerable’ is thanks to the many English Martyrs that have trained there.
One of my proudest moments was when I acted as deacon for Pope John-Paul II at a private mass
Being seen as a priest who is open, approachable and available to people. I like to think that I have no barriers to access.
In my first parish of St Dunstan’s, I started the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Journey in Faith programme. One of the participants was a local teacher.
A few years later, I met him at another parish and he told me that I had inspired him and that he was now a speaker on the Journey in Faith programme in his parish.
Not really but, if I had the money, I would obtain my private pilot’s licence.
I have always been interested in aircraft, especially the large transport aircraft, though not obsessively.
The things that I have to achieve to make life better for others. I have many responsibilities as a priest but I do love my day off!
I once went to Alton Towers and had a go on the iconic Oblivion which was the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster.
It was both exhilarating and terrifying.
That’s Educating Rita with Michael Caine and Julie Walters.
I love that Dr. Bryant (Caine) helps Rita (Walters) realise her academic potential and that, in turn, her passion for learning revitalises his love of teaching.
Snails & garlic butter in Brussels, on a field trip whilst visiting the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) institutions based there.
Interviewer’s note: in this case, Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the snails and garlic were not in Brussels Sprouts – that would have been very unusual.
At the end of a long day, I like nothing better than to sit down and relax with a glass of my favourite single malt, Lagavulin.
Interviewer’s note: the purpose behind this question was to help parishioners who might be looking for gift ideas for Fr Pat; HOWEVER, I recommend you sit down before looking at the price of this brand of whisky!
I can listen to any length of argument and state it back in one sentence.
Interviewer’s note: Any married man can do that with one simple phrase, “Yes, you’re right dear!”
I enjoy reading and walking locally, especially around the Leys.
Obtain my private pilot’s licence!
Actually, I would use a lot of it to help others but I would save enough to go on a long and exotic train journey – 1st class of course.
See the dream here:
The Bishop once said that my handwriting looked like an inky drunken spider had crawled across the page.
When I left out the consecration, the most important part of the mass and went on to the second part of the eucharistic prayer before someone told me.
I was once going through a wedding practice with a young couple and asked them when it was that they were getting married. I told them that I couldn’t make that date as I would be on holiday.
It took some time to calm them down and reassure them!
It is already illegal but I would make people not cleaning up their dog poo doubly illegal.
Joke with my friends that I want to become a Catholic priest!
Actually there are two similar things.
Firstly, I will never travel to the wrong crematorium again because the poor family had to get another priest to cover for me.
Secondly, I will never go to the crematorium when I should be at the grave site.
I have got past the exploring stage. I know all the best restaurants and churches. I feel completely at home there and can chill.
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen and I have been known to sing it.
Interviewer’s Note: Sadly, Fr Pat is not willing to release a demonstration of his singing into the public domain, perhaps to the relief of those who have had the pleasure of listening to Father’s singing from the Narthex; however, here is a taste of what it could be like: Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (Official Video)
As I am a priest, it would have to be Saint John Henry Newman, who was modern and yet orthodox in his approach.
Find out more about Saint John Henry Newman here:
St John Henry