Father Joe

I’ve just finished Fr Joe by Tony Hendra. It’s a brilliant book, one I’ve been meaning to read for some time, as I knew Fr Joe Warrilow and know Quarr Abbey so well.

From what I’d heard, I thought Tony Hendra’s book would be a shallow, “Well, I was once a drugged up Hollywood drop out, but I met this sweet old guy once and he sort of you know got me straightened out…”
I was wrong. Hendra is first of all, a brilliant man, and a fine writer. He was smart enough to win a scholarship to Cambridge where mixed with John Cleese and other pythons. He went on to work for National Lampoon and other satirical outlets in USA and the UK.
But as a boy of fourteen he first met Fr Joe Warrilow when he was in a spot of trouble. The kindly and saintly monk remained his friend for the rest of his life, and was a fixed point in a turning and troubled world.
Hendra chronicles his wayward path with constant reference back to Fr Joe, and the story is alternately funny, touching, and illuminating. I think it ranks as one of the best ‘confessions’ in recent times, and it’s great to know that it got such rave reviews and became a best seller.
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  • Fr. D….I am so glad you enjoyed the book! I thought you might like it. Rose Marie

  • Father,You have probably noticed by now that the author’s name is Tony Hendra rather than Hendry. I read the book last year after an Evangelical friend praised it highly. The ending where he takes his son to meet the priest and to make their goodbyes is truly moving. Before reading the book I didn’t have any idea who Hendra is. His “confessions” are fascinating, honest and well written. I noticed that he seems to miss the “old Mass.”

  • Is Fr. Joe still living?

  • Fr Joe passed away in 1998

  • Wonderful to see Joe’s picture.Joe was such an incredible influence. Quarr and he saved so many priests from shipwreck in the in the 60s, 70s, 80s.I pray that the monastery will now benefit from his prayers.