Sunday, April 23, 2006

OK, I'm fried

I'm officially fried.

As our wonderful retired priest called me this morning (at 6:30!) to say he had a stomach bug, I took all four Masses; not complaining, but it is taxing. Partly my fault; I was up rather late last night, watching first The Godfather, then, when Godfather II followed, I said, "oh, just until such-and-such scene..." which ended up coming over an hour later.

It is really fascinating to see all the Masses from my vantage-point. Each Mass has its own peculiarities. The 7 am Mass crowd isn't used to singing (we don't have accompaniment at that Mass), but I make 'em sing, at least some: several sung "amens," the preface dialogue, and the "Holy, Holy." Today, I made 'em sing an opening hymn, too. Some say they like it, but it's really funny to see some of the resistance to singing at that Mass! (Oh, and I made them sing the "Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia"!)

The 10 and 11:30 Masses are a blur; I hate to think what condition my chasuble is in! Because I hadn't planned to take 11:30 Mass, I had made an appointment for that time; so just before 10 am Mass, I went and found my coordinator of religious ed, and said -- "you need to call that family; I'm sorry, but I can't do it, I have to go have Mass." Unfornately, he didn't reach them, so there they were, waiting at the door of the rectory, just as I was about to begin Mass! (I was standing outside the front doors, because that's the quietest option!) So, I ran over, quickly explained and apologized, and raced back as the bells rang. The candles never got extinguished after 10 -- and some of them burnt out during 11:30.

After I greeted everyone following the last Mass, I saw the candles still burning! I thought, oh, the servers forgot! So I went forward, started putting out candles. Well, a parishioner who takes a lot of picture came by, and sheepishly said, "Oh, I was going to take some pictures!" Turns out, I was the third person who started putting out the candles!

So, I'm out on the street around 1 -- I discover my coordinator of religious ed, and his wife, scarfing down a sandwich in their car; they have to help with the "Spirit Day" for the children preparing for first reception of the Eucharist, at 1:30. Well, we talk a little, and I think, okay, I'll just hang around to greet everyone. (I'd forgotten about it; thank heaven I hadn't had anything to prepare!)

So, I'm back home around 1:45. Time enough for a (Diet) Coke, and, I confess, some Easter candy. Because at 3, we have Divine Mercy prayers in our chapel. So I'm back over to the church around 2:40, to get things ready. I decided to try to sing the chaplet, but wasn't entirely on the mark, but people did their best! Our chapel is small, and it was full! It got a little warm (I was wearing a cope, big surprise!), and I went light on the incense for Benediction.

After that, I walked over to Bingo, to greet the "early birds." Then, realizing I had very little available to fix for dinner, I ran over to the store for a few items. Amazing how many parishioners I saw there! One guilty pleasure: I got a bag of "red pepper lime" Tostitos (never tried 'em, but they sounded good), which I'm eating with a "Hop Pocket Ale" (which pretty much only Virginians have ever heard of); I confess the bag is almost gone! And, alas, so am I!


Fr. Dennis said...

Wow. I have to say, I'm in dread, and at the same time, I can't wait. Today I had to drive to Louisville for a first communion mass. Left Southern Indiana at about 1:45. Drove an hour and 20 to the south side of L'ville and arrived a little after 4, given the time change. Got into the sacristy to help set up. Another seminarian and I had been helping prep the kids all year, and we were vesting to serve as acolytes, when the DRE came in, speaking rapidly in Spanish between sobs (she's director of catechesis ans sacrament prep for the Hispanic community).

The parents weren't cooperating, and all the little girls were wearing fancy gloves, and they wouldn't listen to her that the children could not wear gloves for communion, because they never did that in Peru where she was from, and most of these families were Mexcian, and where was Father, and more sobbing. Complete meltdown. Father came in. He had done 3 other masses that day, and he just calmed her down, went out to the parents and asked that the children wear their gloves through mass, but take them off at communion. They could put them back on afterwards. Everyone was satisfied. Then we had mass.

Wow. Really, wow. And afterwards, he stood around for pictures with the kids in front of the altar while Matt and I cleaned up. I was so impressed with him today.

Fr. Dennis said...

I guess what I didn't mention is that the hectic pace of Sunday really amazes me. How do you guys do it? Again, I'm a little in dread, and at the same time I can't wait.

DP said...

And this is one of the many reasons why we need to be praying for our priests daily.

Anonymous said...

Dilexitprior I heartily second your comment.

If the little girls had communicated on the tongue, they wouldn't have had to remove their gloves.

Deacon David Oatney said...

Father, it sounds like you had an incredibly full day-when I think of all you go through on a daily basis, it makes me both thankful for our priests and makes me pray for many, many more holy priests.

Anonymous said...

Is "The Godfather" really the kind of entertainment a priest should be viewing?

Mark Anthony said...


I'm sure Father watched "The Godfather" only because the video store was all out of "The Bells of St. Mary" and "The Sound of Music." Geez...

How were the Tostitos, by the way?

Fr Martin Fox said...


I watched it on TV.

The Tostitos were mighty tasty!

Unknown said...

Fr Martin, I couldn't find an appropriate email address to send to so this will have to do.

Thank you for defending me on the CA thread. I am humbled that you'd do so, certainly after the busy time you've this lately.

You made my day.

Thanks again,

- JH

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all you do. I have to admit, truly, that I am envious to some degree and wish I could serve the Lord as much as you do. My vocation is husband, Dad, son, brother, and friend which, now that I think about it, sure keeps me busy.
Seems that there is a shortage in vocations to the priesthood these days but there is never a shortage of vocations to the popacy in the Catholic Church here in America.
By the way, I to watched the Godfather last week, all three of them.