Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I'm 1 for 2
Score: Fr. Hamilton 1; Mother Nature 1.
Well, the predicted snow that was supposed to come the evening of Mark Shea's visit to the parish never arrived and so 175 people were able to enjoy his presentation. However, the snow predicted to arrive the evening of my Advent Penance Rite (November 29th) did come. I had advertised this opportunity for confessions for a month. Seven visiting priests were coming to assist (5 from elsewhere in the Oklahoma City archdiocese and 2 from Liberal, Kansas) and dinner for them was lovingly planned. Mother Nature prevailed and none of the visiting priests were able to make it. When the clock struck 7:00 p.m., the scheduled time to begin the confessions, my associate pastor and I heard confessions for whoever showed up. All in all, about 25 people from the parish did brave the weather. Without the interference of weather there would have been hundreds of people in attendance. But, all in all, any evening you can hear 25 confessions these days, is a good and worthwhile thing. It probably won't be possible to reschedule this penance rite with the many visiting priests. Priests schedules are even much more busy in these days of Advent that it is unlikely we can all plan to get together again on the same evening. In fact, we generally start planning these penance rites months in advance to get on the calendars of the visiting priests (in fact, I set the date for this particular penance rite in June and sent out invitations in August). What I may do, in the hopes that my people will go to confession, is just find a few extra priests to come one evening to simply be present for confessions, minus the fancy rite with readings and prayers beforehand. I can then simply advertise that on some given evening(s) extra priests will be available during a certain time frame.

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