There’s nothing quite like heading to your local bar to unwind, catch up with friends, or in the case of seven seminarians, toast the ordination of their colleague, Fr. Peter McLaren. Upon entering The City Arms, which happens to be a favorite of Cardiff, Wales, Archbishop George Stack, the religious students were stunned when they were asked to leave.
The bar staff thought the seminarians — who were all dressed in their clerical clothing — were part of a stag party.
“The doorman basically said something along the lines of, ‘Sorry gents, we have a policy of no fancy dress and no stag dos,'” explained Fr. Michael Doyle, who is acquainted with the group of men. “Luckily, as the students turned to leave, the bar manager came up to them and said, ‘You’re real, aren’t you?'” continued Father Doyle. To the delight of the group they were invited back in with a free round of drinks thrown in.
The story doesn’t end there, however. As the men walked back in, the entire pub burst into a round of applause. The regulars were fascinated by the group and started asking lots of questions. The men stayed all afternoon chatting with the locals and left the pub feeling “encouraged by the positive reaction of the local community.” To demonstrate there were no hard feelings, one of the men, known as Rev. James, offered the bar manager a pint of … wait for it… the award-winning ale called Rev. James. (The Archdiocese of Cardiff assures us the pint is not named after the seminarian!)
To one of the most popular pubs in the Welsh capital of Cardiff, the Archdiocese also made the following plea:
“We’d like to thank The City Arms for being good sports through all of this and their kind gesture to our seminarians – and please note a number of our clergy, including the Archbishop of Cardiff, frequent your bar so don’t turf any more out please!”
Cheers to that!