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McCarthy, Darcy Patrick (1932–1991)

Father Darcy McCarthy, the parish priest of Alstonville, known for "Father Mac's Heavenly Puddings", died on Thursday in St Vincent's Hospital, Lismore. He was 59.

In the mid-80s, having studied cooking in what little spare time he had, he made a few puddings and sold them for parish funds. When the parish got into $300,000 debt over new schoolrooms he started making them in volume.

He bought and installed steam cookers in an old schoolroom, ordered up fruit, flour and rum and, with a band of volunteers, started cooking in earnest.

In 1988, he made and sold 22,000 puddings, the next year 36,000 and last year 60,000. He would rise at 3am to start the first batch, and generally made three batches a day, while still attending to all his priestly duties.

Column 8 regularly reported his progress, and he appeared on national TV and radio programs.

Commercial producers of puddings wanted to take over the business and use his name, but he always refused. His helpers are continuing production this year.

While celebrating Mass on New Year's Day this year, Father McCarthy collapsed and a brain tumour was diagnosed. Despite an operation and hopes for his recovery, he died in hospital late on Thursday night.

Darcy McCarthy, born in Casino, was ordained in 1960. He worked in Lismore diocese parishes, spent five years as a Regular Army chaplain, six years as Administrator of St Carthage's Cathedral Parish, Lismore, and became parish priest at Alstonville in 1981.

The Bishop of Lismore, the Most Rev John Satterthwaite, said Father McCarthy "gave himself totally to God and the people he served".

He is survived by three sisters.

The bishop and priests of the diocese will celebrate Requiem Mass at the Alstonville Catholic Church at 7pm on Monday and a Funeral Mass at the cathedral in Lismore at 11am on Tuesday.

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Citation details

'McCarthy, Darcy Patrick (1932–1991)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mccarthy-darcy-patrick-14650/text26083, accessed 19 August 2022.

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