Wednesday, 14 April 2010

An Easter weekday

Mixed sort of day... Morning sunny but chilly, and off to St Paul's for 9.30 Mass. But wait, who's that lurking in the corner of St B's car park?  It's the gas man!  We started a service contract few months ago for the central heating that we installed two years ago in the presbytery. The guy who inspected the system pointed out that the main tap on the mains side of the meter was very stiff and very old and very rusty, needing replacement. A few months later, and two nice gas-men turn up unannounced for the replacement of said tap. I arrive at St P's with five minutes to spare before Mass.
When I get back the gas men are waiting for Johnny Plumber but I have only 10 minutes before I'm off to Thornhill Crem for a funeral. There's usually a Mss or service in the Church or Funeral Home before the crem or cemetery, but this time that was all there was. The deceased gentleman was one of twelve, so there were big family numbers there. Thornhill isn't my favourite place, especially not for a proper service, but they are a lovely family, and, of course, even if they weren't, they deserve the best we can do. 
Afterwards, I ask the undertakers to drop me off at St Peter's in Roath, where we are having our first post-Easter Fraternity of Priests meeting. Seven of us had a good session, with our usual hour's prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, hour soup 'n' cheese lunch and hour chat. We discussed how we had celebrated Holy Week and Easter, and the lads were interested in our wonderful Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday. Then, naturally we moved on to aspects of the current abuse crisis in the Church. Quite varied views really, but all in good spirits. We mustn't forget the good priests out there doing their best...
Back for four o'clock and the "post-mortem" meeting on the above Mass of the Lord's Supper. Great group of people in the steering group, and over a cup of tea we discussed the good stuff, and ways it could be done better in the future.
Then I relax for half an hour with another cup of tea and last slice of a Simnel cake that a kind parishioner gave us at Easter, before a meeting with a new applicant for annulment. Very pleasant chap, but it looks like we will have to pass this case over to Clifton diocese, as the other party plus almost all the evidence will be there. We have in canon law the concept of competence, which here means the ability of a tribunal to handle a case. The tribunal covering the place where a marriage happened can do it, or the one where the other party lives. The tribunal where the applicant lives or where the majority of the evidence might be, if that is somewhere different, can also do it, but only on certain conditions. I'll have a word with my colleagues in Clifton, Bristol in a day or two, to see how the land lies. While I am with the gentleman, Baptism Preparation is going on in one of the other rooms, and one of the catechists tells me the TV that they use for a DVD isn't working. "Oh dear" I respond, and get on with the problems of someone's broken marriage, by now looking forward to the end of my appointments for the day...
The picture shows the original design for St Peter's, complete with spire (Come on, Fr Myers, how is it you didn't stick one of them on top of that bare tower?)

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