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How long since a confession

The Jesuit preacher decided to visit a small island off the coast of Connemara. The inhabitants numbered no more than a couple of dozen, but the Jesuit threw himself into the Lord's work with a vengeance. Having taken over the bar of the pub for Mass, and having delivered a fire and brimstone sermon, he questioned the congregation.

'How long is it since any of you had your confessions heard?' he asked.

'Well, Father,' answered Brendan, the oldest inhabitant. 'It must be three years since the last priest was here.'

'Why didn't you make a trip to the mainland?' asked the priest.

'Well, Father,' said Brendan, 'the water between us and the mainland is very rough, and our boat is old and leaky. So you see if we've only venial sins to confess it's not worth the bother, and if we've mortal sins it's not worth the risk!'


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