A Powerful Pray-er

Fr. Patrick McInerney
December 5, 2011

No Doubt About It

A Columban colleague once said, “I have received blame for things I had nothing to do with but also the credit for things I had nothing to do with.”  In that same spirit, I tell the following story:

It was the summer of 1999.  The Cricket World Cup was being held in England.  Twelve teams from all around the world competed in the 50 over, one-day format.  After closely fought dramatic wins in the semi-finals, Australia and Pakistan were the two teams who made it to the World Cup Final.

The match was to be held on Sunday, June 20.  It was to be broadcast live, making it Sunday afternoon Pakistan time.  So on the Sunday morning, being from Australia, and knowing that the congregation were cricket fanatics, after Sunday Mass I had them practice some slogans to use when they were watching the World Cup Final that afternoon, like “C’mon Australia!!!”

The congregation enjoyed my joke and entered into the spirit of it enthusiastically, although many countered with a variant slogan “C’mon Pakistan!!!”

As the match unfolded that afternoon, Australia absolutely thrashed Pakistan.  Pakistan were dismissed for a paltry 132 runs and Australia made the needed runs in less than 20 of the available 50 overs with eight wickets to spare.  It was an imposing win by Australia and a crushing defeat for Pakistan.

I am told that as two old men were watching the events unfold on the television screen in their neighborhood that afternoon—Ghandi-like figures, elders, respected for their wisdom and insight—one turned to the other and said:  “No doubt about it.  Fr. Pat is a powerful pray-er!!!”

Following more than 20 years of service in Pakistan, Fr. Patrick McInerny now lives and works in Australia.