I was glad to have him back, and his fellow parishioners were happy to see him. We had a good visit and I made sure he got something good to eat. He and I both had plans for Friday, but yesterday I broiled some steaks and sauteed some green beans; and a parishioner brought a sugar-cream pie (I think that's what it's called). It was the first time I broiled anything in this stove and it wasn't as easy as it could be. The stove is old, and the writing on the dials has worn off; so it took some trial-and-error to get the "broil" setting.
He did a good job at Mass. In his homily, he emphasized that Advent isn't Christmas, it's the time to prepare for Christmas. We do so, in part, by embracing penances and sacrifices that help us grow in the virtue of fortitude. He offered the example of his patron, Saint Andrew the Apostle, who endured crucifixion and preached the Gospel for three days while on the cross; as well as the example of cloistered nuns in Alabama who find joy in uniting themselves, in community, to the Eucharistic Lord.
After the last Mass, I had three babies to baptize; two were twins. That helped, because our baptistry is a little tight. I can still smell the chrism on my hands, which is a pleasant thing, as it calls to mind the day of my own ordination as a priest.
We have lots of babies here, thanks in part to our young parents embracing the Church's teaching on the openness to the gift of life. That gives me great joy.
Now I have a bit of a break for a few hours. This afternoon, we kick off our Knights of Saint Remy boys program; we'll have some basketball, some discussion of virtue, some prayer and some food for our boys, grades 1-12. I hope we have a great turnout!