Sunday, October 24, 2004

After reading about the concern for the where-abouts of Fr. Tharp when he did not post in a while, I thought I should explain why I have been so quiet.

We had Confirmation this week, and as the parish's Sacramental Moderator (not to be confused with the Sacramental Coordinator or Sacramental Secretary -- OK, its a little confusing), it was my show to get ready for. I had to make sure that the gym was turned into a reasonable and somewhat reverent "worship space." Hey, you can only do so much with a gym, but there were too many people (118 Confirmandi, plus their families) to fit in the Church, and splitting them into two Confirmation groups I was told was not an option. Actually I am most blessed by an extremely competent staff who are also well experienced. They tell me what has been tried in the past, what has worked, what has not, and ALWAYS asks me what does the Church want us to do. I am very proud of them. After a lot of planning and work, everything was set up.

The Confirmandi (this was the smallest class in several years, at 118) were one of the most difficult groups to work with. Basically they would not shut up and listen to what they were suppose to do. We had rehearsals both on Monday and Tuesday. Since I had to go visit a dying person, I walked into the Monday rehearsal about 30 minutes late to find that it took that long for the DRE and Sacramental Coordinator (both very good lay women) to get them lined up properly because the Confirmandi were uncooperative. I walked in to hear the DRE saying to them, "if I have to tell you to be quiet and listen one more time I will cancel Confirmation." When she saw me she looked a bit sheepish, but I told her that I would back her up. By the end of the rehearsal I had told two of the Confirmandi that if they did not shut up and act more respectfully they would not get Confirmed until next year when they might be more mature. Sadly, the students from our Catholic grammar school were the worse offenders. Fortunately the Tuesday rehearsal went MUCH better. Have the principal of our grammar school patroling around helped tremendously.

Everyone, most importantly the pastor and episcopal vicar (who did the Confirmation), said that all went very well; though the one altar server, who stood in the middle of the stage, infront of the altar, shrugging his shoulders saying, "I don't know what to do" despite my telling him 3 times confirmed for me that if the servers are not there for rehearsal, they will not serve. It was a long day; up for the 6:25 a.m. Mass, then a breakfast meeting with my team, followed by hours of set up. I finally plopped in my recliner after 9 p.m.

I was up the next day for 6:25 a.m. Mass, then home for my day off to see my Mom who was having her knee scoped (she is home and doing fine). My pastor told me to take Friday off too, but I came back for my private Latin lesson, and since I was back, there were calls to handle. Again, Saturday I had the 6:25 a.m. Mass (not typical to have it 3 times in one week), then was on call for the hospital. About an hour and a half after falling asleep last night the ER called for me to give "Last Rites." The man was a wonderful doctor who established a clinic for the poor in town.

Today was Mass, Religious Education, and tonight I host the monthly Vocations Discernment meeting. As I began reading Fulton Sheen's book, "The Priest is Not His Own," in which he takes up the theme that as Christ was both Priest and Victim therefore priests today must also be victims, offering their bodies and blood when they offer "This is My Body" and "This is My Blood" I could relate to his idea of my physical tiredness (fessa in Latin, see, I'm learning!) as part of that. Oh well, I am going to try to catch some sleep before this evening's meeting.

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