HEART WATCH! DAY 10: His Hermeneuticalness’ Health UPDATE

15_12_19_heart_watchHere is your HHH UPDATE for Day 10 of…


Fr. Finigan is in the hospital after a
“Minor Cardiac Episode.”

So, far, he has been freed from THE MINDRAY, and has dealt with THE PROTOCAL.  I think he might now be struggling with THE DOLDRUMS.

Father says that, although he feels okay at the moment, they plan on doing some pretty invasive things to his chest.   On his blog he describes his arteries as being ” like the Dartford crossing on a Friday afternoon”.  Ergo, bypass is due.

He wrote in an email to me that he has a Kindle.  Of course, everyone should have a Kindle.

I trust that all of you will keep Father in your daily prayers… perhaps more than once a day, until this trial is completed.


Meanwhile, I was sent an exclusive shot of Father’s sumptuous Boxing Day Lunch: Boeuf Bourgignon.


I’m not quite sure what that dessert is.  It looks rather like a cookie, or something cakey, with custard sauce.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Mail from priests, PRAYER REQUEST and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Mike says:

    Will do! I will remember him at Mass today @5:30 EST.

  2. acardnal says:

    “Serco” turkey?

  3. acardnal says:

    Perhaps “Serco” is like our SYSCO Corp in the USA?

  4. acardnal says:

    For someone preparing for a cardiac bypass, his lunch does not appear to be appropriate, e.g. low fat!

  5. Zephyrinus says:

    Dear acardnal.

    SERCO is a British Company that undertakes services to British Government Organisations, e.g., Military, Prisons, Hospitals, etc.

    SERCO will provide all relevant Staff and Services, thus relieving The Government from so doing.

    I understand that SERCO have recently won a similar Contract with The United States Government.

    Happy Saint Stephen’s Day to Fr Z and all his Blog’s Readers.

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    We’d all be a lot healthier if we gave up the beef, or boeuf. I’m convinced red meat is at the root of many a health problem.
    Regardless, Father, I intend to keep you in my prayers. I want to encourage you again that, with the right lifestyle changes, one can go on to become a very healthy and strong individual. You can too. God bless you dear.

  7. kiwiinamerica says:

    Dessert = Christmas pudding with custard, or perhaps more correctly judging by the photo, custard, with Christmas pudding.

  8. Pam68 says:

    I couldn’t figure out how to post or email on Fr Finigan’s blog without messing with Google, so I hope he will be reading here.

    Having been through something similar having to do with a carotid artery almost 100% blocked, which 2 doctors messed up for 2 years, misreading tests and thinking it was minor blockage, I think the dear Father may be dealing with something a little more difficult than doldrums.

    I have a few suggestions for prayer: some from the realm of human reason and practicality, and some from the realm of the supernatural and mystical:

    I pray for a miracle in the scheduling of surgery and that Father doesn’t have to wait. I pray that he gets the absolutely best surgical team they have and that angels are all over the place, guiding hands and minds.

    I pray that Father has one or two people who know him well and who can be with him before, and especially after, surgery…people who will watch everything and everyone and who are not afraid to ask questions. I had to do this for my husband and a child and my mother, so when I was the one in the hospital, I asked my husband to do very specific things for me. The good doctors and nurses and attendants in hospitals are, after all, human, and things are missed and mistakes happen.

    I pray that the Lord will give him every consolation and comfort he needs. I was close to death when they finally figured things out. I was blessed with some miracles, like being able to go to one of the best places in the world for doing my surgery – the Cleveland Clinic. And I was given a surgeon who was as far from behaving like surgeons do than any surgeon I have ever seen. She saved my life, and when she came to me in the recovery room, she was so shaken up and white as a sheet that she just blurted out the truth right there (which I have to say at the time I thought maybe she could have waited a little while).

    In the days leading up to the surgery and especially the night before, I just kept trying to surrender to God’s will, whether it be to go or stay, and asked that my fear be removed and I have perfect peace. But it didn’t happen quite as I wished. However, as I lay awake the night before surgery (no sleeping pills for me) , praying alone in my bed, all of a sudden I “saw” angels. I don’t know what else they could possibly have been. They appeared as if they were a group of almost military-looking soldiers, standing in a completely still rank, lined up around the edges of my bed, shoulder to shoulder, “eyes” straight ahead. After that, I went to sleep.

    Dear Father, the medical community is so good at fixing these heart things today. Since I’m an old lady, I have watched these huge leaps and advances occur in my lifetime. When this episode in your life has passed, my guess is that you will find yourself blessed with extra gifts from God, which you will be able to use to better serve Him.

  9. pray4truth says:

    Fr. Z,
    Thanks for keeping us informed about Fr. Finigan. Please let him know we’re praying for him and for the best possible outcome to his surgery. Know, too, that you remain in our daily prayers. We appreciate you, Fr. Finigan, and all good, holy priests more than we can ever say. Hope he’s enjoying the food (looks a lot better than other hospital food I’ve seen/eaten)!!!

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    Prayers for a speedy recovery Father Finigan. Enjoy the Boxing Day Beef Bourgignon.

    Over in the Middle East my platoon sergeant, radio operator and I would sometimes make Desert Beef Bourgignon using the old MREs. In an empty #10 coffee can toss in chunks of Dehydrated Beef Patty, the sauce from the Bean Component, garlic powder from care packages from the States, and the beef flavor packets from ramen noodles. For green onions, the local village kids were quite happy to provide them in exchange for MRE peanut butter or cheese packets, or the prized MRE Brownie. Simmer the stew over a fire of twigs or heat tabs, and serve over Extended Shelf Life Bread. The coffee can, like a wok, improved over time as it seasoned from repeated use.

    For dessert, in a canteen cup mix water, Cocoa Beverage powder, and coffee creamer packets. Thicken with flour made from finely ground MRE crackers. If the battalion maintenance team was around my platoon sergeant could always convince them to add a crust to this dessert with a blowtorch.

    Blessed Feast of St. Stephen everyone.

    [This is very timely. I am to make supper for a bunch of priests in a few days and had planned to make Julia’s boeuf, which I accomplish using a toaster oven and a hot plate. But now… I’m inspired.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  11. excalibur says:


    None of us are living forever in this world. Giving up beef would be a surrender.

  12. To paraphrase Clement Freud, if you resolve to give up beef, you don’t actually live longer; it just seems longer.

  13. excalibur says:

    I would imagine some of this has been brought about by the stress Father suffered, not only being uprooted, but then seeing what has become of Our Lady of the Rosary in Blackfen, which he so lovingly cared for. Stress is a great enemy of our bodies, and can manifest itself in many different forms. [We don’t know any of that. Fr. Finigan is a priest’s priest and he moved with a good willing spirit. If you have followed any of what he has written on his blog, he really enjoys Margate, his new benefice. There are any number of reasons why Father is ailing now. Let’s not presume to know what we can’t know.]

    Thank you, Father Z, for keeping us up to date.

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

  14. benedetta says:

    Continuing on with the vague hope that Father will donate his heart ekg’s, if not upload his entire mind via the Mindray ™ to homeschool study, I propose that all log on to Homeschool Connections, which is offering a fabulous 12 Days of Christmas giveaway, right now, and sign up for 2016 second semester Anatomy and Physiology! Thus from afar in our domestic churches and home academies we can all prepare ourselves to comment better here as the Cardiac Event Watch continues towards the goal.

    And, prayers to the Sacred Heart for Father’s full recovery and healing. Prayers that his heart after all of this is working well and at the service of his priesthood and the work of Our Lord.

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z wrote: “But now…I’m inspired.”

    Uh oh…what have I done?

    One key ingredient I forgot to mention: a dash of McIlhenny’s Tabasco sauce. When dining on the Chicken ala King pouch using the entire bottle is highly recommended.

    Benedetta: excellent idea. But if the course textbooks use words like “hermeneuticalness” I’ll have to stick with just reading the blog updates.

  16. Suburbanbanshee says:

    May God bless Fr. Finigan and get him well soon!

    Things like red meat are neither good or bad. Some people get sick without it, and some people do not thrive with it. A lot depends on personal constitution and genetics.

  17. That’s not Christmas Pudding with the custard. It’s supposed to be “spotted dick” which is a steamed sponge with raisins in it. When well-made it can taste quite delicious. When produced by hospital contract caterers, however…

  18. Mike says:

    Just got back from Mass in which I prayed for Father….gorgeous liturgy with excellent young priest, lots of chant….however otherwise commendable Roman vestments were….blue!

  19. oldconvert says:

    @MulierFortis: it probably is spotted dick according to the recipe, but being Christmas it has changed its title to one seasonally appropriate. I worked in the NHS for many years and observed this phenomenon plenty of times.

    Things could be worse, believe me. The Daily Mail periodically runs photos sent in by readers of unidentifiable overcooked objects resting on plates and claimed to be food for hospital patients. And when I started nursing, the food still came round in great vats in heated trolleys, to be doled out by the Ward Sister, inevitably one dollop of minced meat (grey and watery), one of mashed potato (watery and grey) and one of cubed boiled mixed vegetables (orange, green and white but still watery). On occasion either the cooks would slip up and make the gravy with sugar instead of Bisto or season the custard with salt; or the washers-up would prove to have not done their job properly and the components of the previous meal could still be tasted in the present one. Choice? Menu? Not in NHS hospitals then!

  20. JonPatrick says:

    oldconvert, that food description sounds like lunch at the parochial school I attended in England as a child. I used to look forward to Fridays as the mystery meat would be replaced by a more palatable fish. I used to beg my mother to let me bring a sandwich and eventually she relented.

    As for Fr. Finigan’s Dartford Crossing-like arteries, having been through a double bypass myself, once one gets over the recovery period, which can be accompanied by depression and in my case, a reaction to the anesthetic used which caused a total loss of appetite for some time, one is as good as new and a combination of better diet and medications should keep him that way indefinitely.

  21. JamesM says:

    Fr. Z is very clearly an anglophile.

    The common response to being served food in a hospital here is “I am not quite sure what it is”

  22. stuart reiss says:

    The ‘beef stew’ looks like something left over from the path lab. The pudding is spotted dick. I know, I’m a connoisseur of NHS slop, having sampled almost all of the south and south eastern hospital canteens as a junior doctor. For years, this was my staple diet.
    I can feel the turbulence inside my arteries…….

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