It's been a tiring week.
Monday I went into the office, surprising my staff; but I'd been out of the office a lot the prior two weeks, and I needed to catch up--which I did, to some degree.
One of the reasons I try to plough through the mess on my desk and keep it somewhat manageable, is because so many things come to me unexpectedly. Such as the last week or so--Saint Boniface received some unexpected gifts that will really help; and as a result, I was able to move ahead on restoring our stained-glass windows, which are over 100 years old, and deteriorating. Thanks to some generous donations, we will be able to bring them back to pristine shape over the next two years or so. So this week, part of my time was spent finalizing the plans for that, advising Pastoral Council since it involves a significant expenditure, and getting things in motion.
One of the tasks was to call all the couples planning weddings this year, to let them know this was going to happen, in case they wanted to shift their wedding to St. Mary.
Friday, I spent part of the day at the store, buying supplies for a dinner party Saturday evening; I have dinner for the parish staff every year at this time; this year, I didn't have the funds to take them out as before, so I prepared dinner for them. For those interested, the menu was:
With drinks, for appetizers we had:
Shrimp cocktail (okay, I mean I had a tray of shrimp with cocktail sauce)
Crudites (cut up vegetables)
Asagio cheese with pepperoni (and crackers)
Chips & dip
Homemade mashed potatoes
Green Beans Piqua Style (hereabouts they make them with stewed tomatoes, very tasty)
Rolls and butter
Cheesecake with assorted toppings
Cut up fresh fruit
In case you are wondering what I actually made, I made the lasagna, but not the sauce; I mashed the potatoes, using both red and Idaho potatoes and leaving the skins on; I did not cut up the vegetables or the fruit, I let Kroger do that; the sisters prepared the green beans; I got the cheesecake also at Kroger.
Everything turned out fairly well--but I started things too early, and the lasagna and roast were finished way ahead of time; so everything had to be kept warm. Thankfully, it wasn't overdone.
Well, then, after all that, I was still up around midnight, and was about to head to bed, when the phone rang. It was the police dispatcher; the police had been called to a home and a priest was needed. No details, other than that someone had died. The dispatcher gave me a number; I called; it was busy. So for almost the next hour or so, I kept calling; it was busy. Finally, I got through; yes, they wanted me to come.
Well, I was wondering what the situation would prove to be; as it turned out--without going into details--it was relatively straightforward and I was able to pray with the family and for the deceased. But it was about 2 am when I got back; then up this morning for 7 am Mass.
At 9 am Mass, we welcomed five catechumens and had a ritual as part of Mass for them, signing them with the sign of the cross, and presenting them with crucifixes. The feast day was well suited for this, as I spoke about baptism. Sorry I don't have a text; I had some ideas I worked with, it's just been that way lately.