Tuesday 13 March 2018

Theodore Luxton-Joyce

Father Ignatius and Father Donald welcomed a visiting Franciscan priest, Father Randolph, to the Parish for the weekend to lead the Marriage Renewal Seminar.

The Seminar was held on the grounds of the Parish Gardens providing plenty of time for the participants to spend time together re-assessing their married life, in preparation for a Renewal of Vows Ceremony to be held after Mass on Saturday evening.

The two Parish priests were pleased that they managed to get twenty married couples to attend the weekend event and looked forward to a successful Seminar for all involved.

The same cannot be said however for Theodore Luxton-Joyce, the eccentric friend of Father Ignatius and very generous benefactor of St Vincent Church.

Theodore preferred to be well away from “organized love-ins”, as he called the Seminar and would not have attended for one moment had he the choice. But his lovely wife, Rose, convinced him otherwise and he, being an old romantic, albeit he hid it well, acquiesced to her request.

After lunch on Saturday the group met at the Church Hall and was addressed by Father Randolph.

He spoke about the necessity of working at a marriage to make it successful, and explained how very often couples tend to drift apart because of the pressures of modern living and having to work hard just to keep body and soul together. He went on to stress the importance of “being aware of the other person in your life”, the importance of “listening” to their feelings, and “showing love” by saying something nice every now and then, by holding hands, giving a hug every so often and not taking one’s spouse for granted.

“Love doesn’t end after the honeymoon” declared Father Randolph, “it’s a precious flower which needs nurturing and feeding every day if it is to flourish for a lifetime!”

At this point Father Randolph noted Theodore Luxton-Joyce raising his eyebrows and looking in the distance out of the window, no doubt wishing he was anywhere else but here.

“What do you think Theodore?” asked the visiting priest, “Do you think it’s important to tell your wife, Rose, that you love her?”

“Every day?” asked Theodore.

The Group laughed and Fathers Ignatius and Donald, sitting at the top table, looked at each other silently.

“Yes … every day … why not?” continued the Franciscan priest after the laughter died down.

“I don’t see the point …” replied Theodore, “Rose knows that I love her very much … (then looking at his wife) … you do know that don’t you?

“What’s the point of all this adolescent childish talk … it goes without saying that I love her … what?

“I wouldn’t have given up a weekend of good fishing and come here, if I didn’t love her … don’t you think old boy?”

The Group laughed again.

“Fifteen – love …” Father Donald whispered quietly to Father Ignatius.

But Father Randolph was not to be beaten so easily.

“No … it does not go without saying …” he responded quietly, “it is important to tell your wife, or husband, that you love them. That they are not taken for granted. It is important to say it … and say it often. It’s important to be nice and to compliment one’s spouse every now and then.

“Very often I’ve seen couples drift apart yet deep down they do really love each other. They just don’t bother, or don’t have time, to say it. With time, they forget what first attracted them to each other. And every time we forget … love dies a little!

“Let me challenge you Theodore if I may …”

“Fifteen all …” Father Donald whispered softly under his breath. “A good return from the visiting priest!” Father Ignatius sat quietly and said nothing.

“I want you to answer quickly without thinking,” Father Randolph challenged Theodore. “Are you ready? Without thinking … what first attracted you to your wife Rose?”

“She makes a decent steak and kidney pie … what?” declared Theodore.

The Group broke down into hysterics.

“Thirty – fifteen to your eccentric friend!” Father Donald said to his colleague Father Ignatius.

Father Randolph was astute enough to continue with his talk rather than get into a pointless debate with Theodore. Minutes later he asked the Group whether anyone had personal knowledge or experience of marriages breaking down after a long period together. He called them “mature divorces”.

Theodore raised his hand.

“I bet you regret inviting him …” Father Donald whispered to Father Ignatius.

“Years ago … when I was in the military, one of my people got divorced after twenty years of marriage …” said Theodore.

“I asked him why … and he said his wife was violent what? Apparently she threw things at him in an argument … Anything … Cups … saucers … cutlery … crockery … anything that came to hand.

“Turns out she threw things at him throughout the marriage … twenty years of it.

“I asked him why he took so long to decide to leave her.

“He said her aim was getting better … what?”

The Group burst into laughter to the embarrassment of Rose, whilst Father Randolph tactfully decided to call a short tea break.

“Game … set … and match!” declared Father Donald as he got up from his seat.

The rest of the weekend proceeded without further difficulties for Father Randolph, albeit Theodore was the most popular member of the Group.

As they drove back home he asked his wife, “You don’t think it necessary to say ‘I love you’ every day … do you?”

“It’s nice to hear it every now and then…” she said, “It’s reassuring you know. Women like reassurance!”

“Tell you what old girl …” he replied, “I’ll write it down big on a piece of paper. You can read it as often as you want when you need reassurance … what?” he chortled heartily.

She smiled; knowing full well that he was the world’s biggest romantic, yet his up-bringing did not allow him to show it.



  1. :) I can relate to Theodore Luxton-Joyce - in a way. And his wife - in a way.

    I see my branch of Western civilization as making fairly big adjustments - which I've learned started at least a generation before me.

    May God bless all the 'Roses' of this world, and the 'Theodores' too.

    And thank you for a good story.

    1. Being romantic is one thing; but having to attend these Marriage Renewal meetings can be a bit overdone, I think. I remember, there wasn't even a good pint of Guinness. What is the point of Marriage Renewal without Guinness, I ask you?

      God bless you and your family, Brian.

  2. What a splendid story, Victor! Got to love Theodore, even if he finds it hard to say, "I love you."
    Visions arrived yesterday! After I finish the current book I'm reading (The King's Speech), yours will be next. Can't wait!

    1. Some men find it difficult to be romantic, Martha. I used to feel silly carrying bouquets of flowers. It would have been different if I carried some cans of Guinness!

      The King's Speech is a great film. Have you seen it? I wonder if they'll ever make a film of my book "VISIONS". Please let me know what you think of the story.

      Thank you for your kindness, Martha.

      God bless you and yours.

  3. I don't hear an "I love you" every day from Ken but often enough. 😊
    Sure enjoyed the story and the laughs.

    1. Some men tend to love silently; without saying it.

      God bless you both Happyone.

  4. Hi.. dropping by,,, I renamed my blog and changed the addy :-)
    Hope you still come by..


  5. I think it is good to tell your partner that you love them. It's a nice feeling. :)
    I enjoyed this post Victor, enjoy your day!

    1. I agree, Bill. Yet some men find it difficult to say "I love you!".

      God bless you.

  6. My Joe is not romantic but we do tell each other daily that "I love you" and after 33+ years, we know each other pretty well...can finish sentences and almost read each other's minds. Great post!! I am going right now to get your book!

    1. That's true love, Terri. When two people totally understand each other.

      I hope you enjoy my book. Please let me know what you think of my writings. It helps me improve.

      God bless you both.

  7. What a great story, Victor!

    1. Hi Lulu,

      I think men can be romantic without saying so, and without flowers and chocolates. A steak and kidney pie, with a good gravy and potatoes are just as good.

      God bless you, Lulu.



God bless you.