Once A Catholic Always A Catholic? Or Always Helpless?

A man I know and I went to Catholic schools. In 1957 I apostacized (became a ‘runaway slave’ in OED) first to agnosticism and then atheism. In the nine years I’ve known him he has tried four times to quit but failed and returned to “the plantation”.

Last year one day he teased me with the “...Always A Catholic” line above. I told him I’d heard “Once a priest always a priest” but never heard it as he said it. He continued teasing me until, knowing his work style, I replied with “Always a Catholic always helpless.” He stopped and has not used that line again.

A few months ago in a writing class an elderly Catholic woman whispered to me the “...always a Catholic” line and I right away whispered “...always helpless” to her. We talked some more and she agreed when I told her the Church takes women who need counseling and gives them a roomful of children.

I would like to know when RC schools started using the “...always a Catholic” line. Does anyone here know its origin?

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