Monday, 26 March 2012

Priesty days

I think that it's the variety of a priest's life that surprises people when they get to know us a bit better.
Saturday we had First Reconciliation for St Paul's and St Brigid's after Fr T had celebrated Mass and heard the "normal" Confessions. The 9 or 10 children were great, as 7 or 8 years olds always are, and mums and dads plus catechists were duly moved - again, as always.  The children are so open and honest - it's only us oldies who learn to, er, well, use a little euphemism here, a few quickly gabbled sins there, hoping Father won't notice the Big One we slipped in....
Then on to Corpus Christi High School, which was the venue for a special day celebrating Archbishop Romero, whose anniversary it was. Nice group of people, and Fr T and I stayed on for the bring 'n' share lunch - or, in our case, just share! Great to meet parishioners from former parishes. One lady was astonished that I remembered her name - but with one like Roswitha, even I would remember it!
Then home to prepare for Sunday liturgies, starting with Saturday evening when the Confirmation candidates, halfway through their programme, have a Mass of Election, while the catechumens, approaching the Easter Vigil, had one of their Scrutinies. The next day, I had an email from a young man in his 20s or 30s, like the two guys on Saturday, who had been at that Mass, and wanted to find out himself about becoming Catholic...  Unfortunately the evening was, um, affected by an uncooked (I think) samosa I stupidly ate at Corpus. I'll leave it at that!
Sunday, in addition to our normal Masses with their music, good fellowship, children's liturgy etc etc, we had a very good Youth Way of the Cross at 3pm in St Brigid's. Prepared by some of our catechists who work with our young people, the teenagers (and younger) did the whole thing themselves, three taking it in turns to lead, with 8 or 10 others adding the parts at each station. Very impressive, and so confident - wonderful young people.
Today I had what I call the "3 Arches Group". For those who don't know, the 3 Arches is our local hostelry. Every other month or so we local ecumenical clergy meet for lunch. Today we were seven, including two young youth workers from the Welsh Presbyterian church. They job-share - and are married! I was, er, interrogating them on their work, as in our 3 Churches we are going to give our youth work some serious reflection after Easter. 
And finally, I've just come in from leading a "Twilight Retreat" for the parishes here. It was intended as a lead-in to Holy Week, and people seemed to appreciate it, We started in the Hall with a look at the liturgy of the Week, then used two poems written from the point of view of Judas and Peter to stimulate  a bit of discussion.  After a break we crossed over to the church for a reflective time using two more poems and the Seven Last words of Jesus. People could come up and stand at the foot of our large crucifix - at what I call "Mary's place."

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