Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Lenten day in the life...

Mass at 8:45 am with younger schoolchildren. Explained why St. Patrick is important, highlighted his forgiveness of those who enslaved him, and his courage in going back to Ireland. I asked them to think about how they might be like Saint Patrick today.

9:30 am -- quick trip to Tim Hortons, for coffee and a couple of donuts (breakfast). Back to office, spent several hours at my desk with email, phone messages and other matters waiting for me.

A few phone calls; a few meetings. A fellow from the company that publishes our bulletin was here, on the phone lining up ads for the bulletin. We talked a bit about the new contract we need to sign. Maintenance man for one of my parishes stopped in, we went over a bid for exterior work, talked about getting other bids; talked about several other projects, including our "new" baptismal font, to be installed this week, and blessed on Saturday, after 4 pm Mass.

Checked in with one of the parish's secretaries about several matters. Talked to our dear sister, about one parish's altar society wanting to buy some things for the parish. I called the person in the altar society to give some suggestions. They may buy a vestment; so I spent some time online doing a little research in preparation for that.

More emails and mail to open. Two stacks of checks to sign, one for each parish. I sent a package of flyers to the seminary, so a priest there can provide them to all the seminarians, about summer employment. I prepared a letter to the tribunal, asking a dispensation for a wedding, involving a non-baptized person. Several more emails, many of whom needed some research and phone calls in order to respond. Some involved planning meetings. Spent some time reading some materials sent to me.

Around 2 pm, I had an appointment out of the office; expected to be back around 3, got back earlier. Picked up a sandwich for lunch on the way back.

More of the same. Around 3:30, the maintenance man stopped back; we had a meeting with a high school student, who wants to do a project for the parish for his Eagle Scout badge. We were going to meet at 4:30 pm, but our maintenance man couldn't stay. He had some notes for me. I met with the boy, and his mom, and everything was straightforward. He's going to help plaster and paint one of the offices and get some buddies to help.

Actually, I think I surfed the net about the vestments around this time; hard to remember. Spent awhile working on the Mass and confessions schedules for April, May and June. Got a call from a friend around 6 pm, we talked for about a half hour. Had to ring off to wrap up a few things before heading to St. Mary to hear confessions from 7-8:30 pm, which we're doing every Tuesday during Lent. Got back here afterward, and ordered some Chinese--oh, there's the bell, hold on...

Let's see, what did I get? Hot & Sour Soup and Singapore Chow Me Fun (which I've never had). Going to eat this while I watch some basketball...

6 comments:

Greta said...

Truly enjoy your blog. Question. Do you as a priest do anything to prepare when you are going to hear confessions?

Father Martin Fox said...

I try to pray beforehand, but many times I'm racing to get vested, and open the doors and turn on the lights and jump in the box before folks come in. I pray while I wait.

mrsdarwin said...

Never a dull moment!

I recently read that St. Benedict would pray before each task that he started that the job would be brought to perfection. May all your works be brought to perfection, Father!

Anonymous said...

Hi Father! For all of those people who seem to think that a priest has nothing to do but to say Mass - this is a wonderful glimpse into the busy and hectic life of our priests these days. A whole lot different than the days of old! Bless you and so many others!

Greta said...

I am glad to hear about the prep prayer. Your post made me think about what I would do if I were in your position and going to hear people tell me obviously very private and very painful things they have done or failed to do, said or failed to say. To me it really takes a lot of effort to go through a preparation for going to confession. I still am unable to go face to face with a priest and in fact even go to another parish. It is not that I do not trust the priest but I find it hard to deal with the priest in the same way. So how to prepare to be the one to hear and to forgive in the place of Christ is obviously an important part of your vocational call.

Do you go through a much different process as the man going to confession? Do you have a regular priest and are they also a spiritual advisor? Not looking to get to personal, but you seem to be willing to share so much that gives a priest life a lot more visibility. I would think it would be great to have a spiritual advisor. I read a lot about Mother Theresa and her battles through the many years and also that of other saints. I am also a fan of Father John Vianney. I love his struggle to become a priest and to see him now a saint and laying there Incorrupt. I love how he stayed hearing confessions for 17 or more hours and people came for miles to have him for this important sacrament. I also have a lot of love for Saint Padre Pio who also had his struggles with the Church and was also strong in the confessional often knowing that there was more and indeed graver sins that were not yet confessed. Who is known as the great confessor in the Catholic Church in our country today? It is amazing to me that so many do not take full privledge of this gift from our Lord. It builds such humility and closeness to our Lord if we go on a regular basis.

Father Martin Fox said...

Greta:

Going to confession is not any easier for me; after all, I know most of the priests around here, and they know me. I can, of course, confess anonymously.

Thanks for your kind words!