Grabbed some coffee and donuts for breakfast on the way to the office. Plenty waiting for me, as always on Tuesday morning. Took awhile just getting through emails, and snail-mail and phone calls. Was in the middle of responding to an email when a call came--one of our parishioners had just died; the parochial vicar had been visiting, but he was unavailable. (He was performing a wedding at a nursing home--not for a resident, but for a couple who elected to be married there so an elderly parent could take part. That required special permission from the Archbishop, by the way.) I was also having a short meeting with a member of the staff, and we cut it short, and I went over to the house. Spent about an hour there, praying with and consoling the family, until the funeral director arrived.
Back to the office, back to the same stuff. That death--plus another one--meant planning funerals. Turned out both families wanted the funerals the same day and same time. Various phone calls and emails later, we worked it out.
In between all this, I'm preparing for tonight's penance service. Thank God for the parochial vicar, who was planning to preach. I put a program together and had my secretary run it off just before she headed home for the day. Oh, I forgot--someone stopped by, unexpectedly, needing to talk. That happens a lot.
Around 5, I ran to Rallys for a late lunch; back to the office, and wasted a little time, before heading over to set things up for the penance service. Opened the doors, turned on the lights, set up chairs in various places for the priests and penitents. Eight locations (including two confessionals), all but one had option for anonymous.
A nice number of folks showed up--but never enough. We finished in an hour. That's why I always get as many priests as we can accommodate. No one complains if you get done earlier, and we're ready if lots show up.
I invited the priests back for a drink--"a little conviviality"--afterward, but this time, everyone had to go. I got back home around 8:30 pm, ordered up some Chinese for dinner (some House Special Soup and some more of the Singapore Chow Mei Fun I ordered last week).
Sat back and watched the President's news conference; Bill O'Reilly was haranging about the President being "boring." Who cares? News conferences aren't usually anything else, and it's hard to see what's in it for the President to try to keep things other than boring. Actually, for the part I saw, I thought Mr. Obama handled himself pretty well--setting aside how much of what he advocates, I disagree with.
He sometimes fumbles around without a teleprompter, but he seemed reasonably good most of the time. I noticed, however, when he tried to describe the moral and ethical considerations of embryo-destroying "research," he fumbled a lot. I wondered--is this the first time he's tried to say, out loud, what those moral considerations are? Or was he aware that he might, unwittingly, give away the game? It sounded to me as though he was well rehearsed in saying things like, "I know many people have serious moral and ethical objections to this research, and I respect that..." but utterly lacking in comprehension of just why.
While all that was going on, I'm browsing the 'net, catching up on the news, and reading amusing things. I am saddened to read about what's going on at Notre Dame University; I think this is a major sell-out, and I fear this is a crossing-the-Rubicon moment.
Well, it's about 10:30--that's my day.