I thought you might find interesting what transpired today, my "day off"...
Around 4:40 am, the phone rang; I think it rang 3 times before I answered--to be honest, I was pretty dead asleep, and groggy in my conversation. The caller was someone from the police department; I was needed at the hospital. (Out of consideration for those involved, I will omit further details.) About 10 minutes later, I'd dressed and gotten behind the wheel, and was pulling out before I realized I'd forgotten my glasses! Don't worry, I'm only a little off without them...but agreed, not the best thing to do.
I was there until around 5:30--I won't say anything about it, except it was an extremely difficult situation but those involved were grateful a priest had come. I got back into bed a little before six--did I mention I'd been up pretty late the night before?--but I didn't get to sleep right away, and wondered if I should get up; but I think I was snoozing pretty well by 8 am...
The phone rang--the other priest answered it. Zzzzzzz....phone rang again--other priest answered it. Zzzzzz....the phone rang; the other priest let me know this was for me. A computer repair guy came by the office, something I'd arranged, I wanted to explain what we needed, so I did it over the phone--I confess, still in bed.
Well, I decided to get up then, and made some coffee and some breakfast. Bacon and eggs, all fixed in the microwave--isn't that grand? Maybe it was just my mood, but boy did it all taste good!
Fast forward to the afternoon, time to get down to some business--I had to begin decorating the Christmas Tree. So I went down the basement, and got the lights, and--as happens to you, I had to untangle them. I know what you are thinking--why didn't I put them in good order last year? Well, in this case, I let someone else take down the lights last year, but...I'd probably have done it the same way myself!
Then the phone started ringing again. The computer guy again; the maintenance man, advising me of a furnace problem in the school, then again, telling me it was working; then the office; then the funeral home; seems like a few others.
This is a good time to mention the plans I had for the evening: a group of seminarians and possible seminarians were coming by; one of our seminarians had called me, a few weeks back, to see if I'd be host for a get-together, so I said sure. The plan was to have some drinks and snacks, then pray Vespers, and then go out to dinner. They were due around 5, and I wanted the tree to have at least lights on it.
Another phone call--I needed to run over to the office. So a quick trip over there, in and out; only it's not in-and-out, as several people had questions. While I was out, I ran by the grocery store and picked up some pop and beer and chips and such for the seminarians, then back home, and I finished with the lights. The first guys showed up as I was bringing out some snacks, and they were happy to help me set out some things.
Well, now, when I talked to the deacon about it, I figured we'd have four or five, and that would be well worthwhile. That afternoon, he called me, said he expected ten! Along with the other priest and me, that's a full dozen. So our living room was packed, and the various snacks disappeared rapidly.
After Vespers, we reconvened at Ruby Tuesdays in Troy, and enjoyed a good conversation over beer, cokes and mostly burgers. A good bunch of guys, ranging from one high school guy to several in college and two guys currently in the seminary. Several are studying theology and philosophy, but others are studying engineering. Several talked about their experiences with the older, Extraordinary Form of the Mass; they were interested in hearing more, from one of the seminarians, about our new, coadjutor Archbishop Dennis Schnurr. We also talked about the schools the guys are attending--several are at Franciscan University in Steubenville, one at Dayton, one at Ohio Northern, and one at the University of Cincinnati.
About this time, it occurred to me a photo might be nice--I asked if anyone had a camera phone; several came out. (I showed the guys my Nokia phone from around 2003, and they laughed at it--"I think they have those in museums, Father.") Sorry I didn't think to get photos earlier of church or my house, but here are some pics:
Here's the seminarian-deacon, Rev. Mr. Shawn Landewich, who organized this whole event--a seminarian out beating the bushes for more seminarians, how cool is that? Beyond him is Chris Osgood, a college student at a Baptist university, a valiant Catholic witness, and then our congenial vicar, Father Tom Grilliot.
Here are Mark, Tom and Eric--sorry to say, with such a big group, I didn't get last names. Mark described some "liturgical dance" that happens at Masses at the University of Dayton; with a serious look, I said, "sorry to say, Mark, they don't have classes in liturgical dance at the seminary." He pretended to be disappointed.
Here's Father Tom again, hogging all the pictures as usual, along with brothers Pete and Phil. Tom, above, had his brother, Sean, along with him, but he was omitted from the pictures, sorry buddy!
Finally, here is your humble correspondent, along with current seminarian, Dan Hess. The Germans always sit together...
After a good conversation, several of the guys had to drive back to Cincinnati; the others were headed north, and we all parted ways. I hope I see these guys again, in the seminary and, God willing, in the priesthood. This is what you're praying for when you pray for more priests!
Now it's a little after 10, and I'm reclining and working on my lap-top, typing these words.
Oh, I forgot to mention, while I was carrying boxes up from the basement, I tripped on the stairs and jammed my big toe. It's starting to throb a little, I wonder if I sprained it?
That's how I spent my day off.