This morning a little before 8, I started a post; then the power went out. Not a busy, but an active day, intervened -- despite the nasty weather.
We are getting hit by the same storm afflicting much of the eastern U.S. There were about 4 inches or so on the ground at 8:30 am; the coordinator for our perpetual chapel recommended closing it -- meaning, letting adorers off the hook so they wouldn't try to walk, or worse, drive over; so with a small bit of ceremony, three parishioners accompanied me as we transferred the Blessed Sacrament from the chapel to the tabernacle upstairs. On Thursday morning, assuming all is well, we'll reopen the chapel. (We'll still have Mass there Wednesday evening, but since adorers were told not to return till Thursday morning, we'll wait till the morning to return the Blessed Sacrament.)
After that, the office; one of our dear Sisters of Charity -- who works for the two parishes -- made it over, walking 1/2 mile. The business manager also made it in. Good thing, as she was available to drive me to the hospital when I got a call about a dying man in ICU. Her car was ready, mine was two blocks away, covered in snow. Two people were better off, if we got stuck, than either alone.
That was the plan when a parishioner pulled up in a big, muscular SUV; I don't know what brand, but it's big and not easily intimidated by a storm. He volunteered to take me to the hospital. When I got in, I saw he had his wife, two girls, and the dog! So we all went down to the hospital; they waited as I went in.
The man was in bad shape; the wife told me they didn't expect him to live. So I "heard" his confession (I told him to tell God in his heart his sins, I said the Act of Contrition and his penance -- one Glory Be -- for him, then gave him absolution and the apostolic pardon, which is a plenary indulgence, then anointed him, then blessed him with the Eucharist (he couldn't receive it), then the prayers for the dying. I assured him, if he had faith, he had nothing to fear, he was ready, as ready as I could help him be.
When I got back to the car, I told the girls, one in 3rd grade, one in kindergarten, about the visit; that the man's heart had stopped five times before I got there! The Lord must have wanted that rendezvous -- perhaps that moment of prayer saved his soul; if so, they had a part in it (they prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet while waiting), and what's better than that? They liked that idea. Their dad drove me back to the office, and I went back to work. Answered some mail, made some calls, prepared some invitations for a dinner for some area priests, etc. Decided to go home way early, around 4 pm.
Walking home, I saw some guys valiantly trying to budge a car. I saw there was no way it was going anywhere, but I did my civic duty and tried to help. "Where are you trying to go?" Turns out he was just going to park it in a nearby parking lot. He decided it wasn't so bad where it was; hopefully, the city won't tow him. It was getting nastier this evening, more wind, and some ice pellets instead of snow. Some roads had been plowed, but can't tell if mine has.
A bit ago, a parishioner came by with a snow-blower to do my walk, which was not necessary; I was fixing to shovel it in the morning, which I will have to do anyway, but this makes it somewhat easier.
All meetings cancelled tonight; everything is cancelled tonight I expect, hereabouts. In the morning, I have Mass at the north parish, 1/2 mile away. Unsure if I'll walk, or drive. I'll be curious to see if anyone else shows up.