What a Sunday. And, Saturday as well.
I mean as full, demanding and. . .
Like your own, perhaps?
The whirlwind blitz started Saturday with the sacrament of reconciliation and mass at St. Catherine in Algonac, MI., followed by a counseling session in the area, and a visit with Canadian divinity students at Holy Cross in Marine City, clustered at Our Lady of the River now with St. Mark, Harsen Island included in the threesome.
Other visitors who may show up, I was told, were flying bats in the rectory where I planned to lodge overnight before the Sunday blitz of 8 am mass with another following at 9:30 for college and high school grads. Ready for battle, I was told there's a tennis racket by the stairwell. When I went upstairs I felt a lack of any cool air and said, "Wow, no air conditioning up here," as I quickly descended downstairs to move together two soft sitting chairs for my makeshift bed. They kept moving apart through the night while I shifted and had happy dreams about God.
A reception followed that young people's mass before I walked over to Riveria Restaurant where I figured many parishioners would be enjoying each other over breakfast with the picturesque treat overlooking Lake St. Clair and the Canadian border.
Lutheran Pastor Hoarr was moving about greeting his parishioners while we crossed paths and began a lovely inter-religious dialog. That will be ongoing, I'm sure! Awesome parishioners. Fans of Father Martin Luther, a decent human who I respect. We need to talk more with each other, and other faith traditions. Taking time to talk is key to a fruitful world.
What a pleasant conversation even before with a dozen of Lutherans from St. Martin's nearby.
Once we cut the ice, and created common ground, a few parishioners joked with me about Father Martin Luther. "He helped us Catholics hew some teachings on indulgences, simony and more," I shouted in the noisy place with a full house.
We were off to an enduring dialog before a deacon from the church surprised me, asking if I was to have been at St. Catherine's for the 11:30 am mass.
"Oh, oh," I thought, I recalled weeks ago that a call came for me to revise my schedule and add yet a third mass to this full plate!
Imagining how to fix this situation that I was late for already by fifteen minutes into the start of the mass, the deacon made a call to the church telling people to lead the liturgy of the Word while I arrive for the liturgy of the Eucharist that followed.
"This is so absurd," I complained on the way over.
A personnel problem that should have gone away in the 60s at Vatican II emerged in my many thoughts as I followed boats on trailers pulled by jeeps or oversized trucks.
And, slowing my arrival.
"Father, I want you to know where we are," a parishioner shouted in the vestry when I did arrive.
"I know where we are," I replied, hearing petitions read over the "mike." Canned prayers of the faithful should be replaced for spontaneous general intercessions of parishioners, anyway, I thought as I put on a stole.
A grateful crowd appreciated the efforts to do yet another mass that day with a 50th anniversary of Jerome Singer immediately after in Detroit, and, a 7 pm in Clinton Township after viewing the Ten Commandments at the AMC Gratiot Theatre nearby.
On my way west on M-29 (23 Mile Road) I turned back to Immaculate Conception in Anchorville to say hello to Joe Esper. He left, it was reported, for the 2 pm graduation mass of Cardinal Mooney High School. (Someone told me I should be at that mass also. Go figure!)
A whirlwind blitz.
After dropping off Woofie, my Bichon Frise, I headed west on I-94 to Nativity Church on Gratiot and McClellan. A full church was listening to stories about Jerry Singer. Muddled some via the michrophone I went back outside for some conversation with bystanders awaiting some sandwich wraps in an yard reception at the historic inner-city church.
I tire jut reporting this litany of events.
In the life of a pastor.
Whew.... I gasp.
When will it all change?
The Rise and Meteoric Fall of the Catholic Church, a new tome by Russell Shaw came to mind.
I hope there isn't a fall.
But, stand by, there are more surprises everyday by those in charge.
Some quiet reflection after supper found me settled into my e-z chair savoring the respite.
I thank God no end.