Sunday, August 29, 2021

My weekend...

Here's a vignette...

Several weeks ago, a local group planned to bring a priest here from Haiti. His parish benefits from contributions from local folks -- including my parishioners -- so this was an opportunity for them to know where their money goes, and for the priest and the Haitian parish to tell their story.

Meanwhile, I had a wedding scheduled for Saturday...that means a rehearsal Friday, of course.

Somewhere in there I got a call: So-and-so was from your parish; she died; her funeral was at Such-and-such a parish, will you lead prayers at the grave on Saturday? Sure.

(It's starting to get complicated, but what can I do?)

Priest visiting from Haiti speaks little English; he brings a parishioner of his who speaks English. The group here, that is organizing things, has a schedule for him to meet with this group, that group, see this and that. He's going to be at all the Masses this weekend. I speak up: Father should be given an opportunity to offer Mass himself; even in French, if that's all that works. I stupidly thought Haitians all speak French; they speak Creole, which is French derived, but not the same thing. At any rate, we planned for one Mass to be a mixture of French and English, meaning, Father could offer Mass and we'd all just manage.

Father-from-Haiti is very pleasant, but little time to visit. I've got a rehearsal, he's got visits...

Oh, and the retired priest who was going to come on Saturday morning -- I have two other Masses -- gets a fever. Now I have three Saturday Masses, plus confessions, plus the burial...

And then I get a call: a longtime parishioner died. When shall I meet with the family? How about Saturday, between the burial for the other lady, and the wedding? That's all that works. Thank God, everyone who came for the 11:30 am burial arrived by 11:30 am. Bereavement meeting at noon went smoothly -- good, as there's a wedding at 1:30 and I need to be in the sacristy at 1 pm. "Father, it's hot in church!" "Yes, and I suggest that if you keep these inside doors closed, that'll help." "Good idea!"

Oh, did I mention I was sick this past week? Nothing serious, but I was hoarse and coughing a lot. No one likes to have the priest up at the altar, coughing. Thankfully, I felt pretty good by 1 pm on Saturday. But at the 8:15 am Mass, I said, "it's going to be a long day, sorry but no homily, no petitions..."

The families kindly invited me to the reception; and if they do (they don't always), I am happy to go.

Oh, I forgot to mention two phone calls on Friday: about a very difficult situation. No details, sorry, it's private; but VERY difficult, and I apologized for not being able to talk longer, but -- the rehearsal was in 15 minutes. 

So, by Saturday evening, things seemed on a good slide. All I had to worry about for Sunday was...

The priest visiting from Haiti would be the celebrant; but I would assist as I could, as he spoke almost no English; no one else in church spoke French. It worked, but there were some bumps.

Two more went fine.

Then a baptism, now we're on the easy side of the day. Did I mention I was getting hoarse and coughing a little? 

The visiting priest and his interpreter headed out after that, to another parish nearby and then to Indiana. Not so easy for them. Hearing about the deprivation in Haiti is...amazing. How blessed we are. 

So it's been a couple of hours, doing nothing but drinking a cold drink on my porch, and nothing else.


rcg said...

This is very edifying, I hope, for people. I have a very full, hectic, and compressed schedule, too. But nothing this important. I try to be mindful of the burden priests bear and am grateful for even a moment of their time.

Anonymous said...

Father, I am a reader from Fr. McDonald's blog who decided to give you a look. Wow! If only most lay people had a clue about the burden priests carry--not to mention that the vast majority of you guys are older men (I am too)--what a living crucifixion! Thank you for your commitment. Your patience shames me.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

You are in my prayers, Father. May God give you good health and a little more porch time with a cold drink.