Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Day
Well, Christmas Day has been survived rather nicely. I had a Vigil Mass last night at one mission church, then the Midnight Mass back here in Guymon. My Associate had the Christmas Day Mass. I was present at it, seeing that things got off to a good start, micromanaging things like the annual second collection for seminarians and vocations, and greeting people after Mass. Then my Mom and Stepdad arrived and we have just concluded several nice hours together. Since I wasn't able to come home for Thanksgiving, and I also couldn't come home for Christmas, Mom decided to bring a bit of home up here. I made a nice Christmas meal, the highlights being: Sugar-and-macadamia-nut-glazed baked brie cheese (appetizer), homemade stuffing and pork tenderloin with a red wine reduction sauce that included dried plums, dried cherries, and golden raisins (main course), a Brunello wine (capital B out of respect, please), and bananas foster (dessert). Oh, yeah, and there were the presents that Santa, err, I mean, Mom and Stepdad brought.

I was very pleased by how the Christmas Masses proceeded. However, I was very disappointed by the attendance. A normal weekend attendance in this parish is anywhere from 800-900 people. For the Midnight Mass I estimate there were about 300 people and there were only 140 at the Christmas Day Mass. That's 440 total. I guess a full half of my congregation was traveling. Could that be? I don't know. It is true that there were almost no Hispanics at any of the Masses (even though we do them bilingually), and I don't say that to be mean, just to state what seems to be going on.

We had a seminarian at the Masses and that was nice because someone else was in the sanctuary who knew what was going on and he handled all the incense, including incensing the Blessed Sacrament at the two elevations! I think the people were really pleased with how the sanctuary looks for these holy days. I will be interested to see how attendance is at the Sunday Masses tomorrow. Will it be more of the same? Or will Christmas absentees show up? Stay tuned, folks...

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