Sun Aug 2 – Pentecost 9

Another warm Sunday morning, with good attendances. Guest organist at 10 am…..we missed Bob! Sermon was about the Eucharist. We have John 6 all thru Aug – a gr8 subject for preaching 🙂 

Tues 4 – St John Vianney

The Cure de Ars is the patron of parish priests. Today Pope Benedict inaugurates the year of the Priest, exhorting the faithful to pray for their priests. Where would I be without the prayers of my people? At 1.20 pm I go with Jim (business admin) & Homero (sexton) to be finger-printed for the school’s legal requirements. This will be the 6th time I have been finger-printed by a US govt agency….they have more on me than Australia! In the evening I had dinner at the White’s, whom we farewell on Sunday :-(

Wed 5

Visiting today included a vigorous discussion on the Eucharistic sacrifice…how many priests can say that! The parish magazine was distributed today. Lots of positive responses to my statement on Gen Conv – incl from the bishop. Dinner with Ogden’s, which concluded with sitting in his marvellous antique car!

Thurs 6 – Transfiguration

The warm weather continues. Holy Unction for Bob at 11 am. My weekly visit to Christine Wallace. Finance c/tee at 5.30 pm, followed by Mass

Fri 7

The weekly bible study today was very helpful for my sermon!

Sat 8 – St Dominic

10 am Baptism meeting, 11 am Rosary, 11.30 am Mass, followed by the usual nice lunch for Societies of Mary. 23 came. Aftewards Ralph presented me with a decadent pure chocolate cake………in the shape of a cat!

Sun 9 – Pentecost 10

Another warm day! 55 at 8 am & 100+ at 10 am. Baptism of Finn Schreiber, son of Marcus & Anne, at High Mass. I married Marcus & Anne in 2005, so it is special for me. On a sadder note, we said farewell to the White’s & gave them a special blessing. Cityfest is on today – the annual Hillcrest street fair. We have a parish booth, where I am spending the a/noon with other parishioners promoting All SS 🙂 

Mon 10 – St Laurence

Today was my day-off. In the morning I did practical things: laundry, cleaning, bank, gym. After lunch I went for a walk around the bay & then came home & finished a book I have been trying to read all year. This is The History of Australian Football – a huge 396 page book published last year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Aussie Rules football! Summer is the only time I get to read non-religious books!

Wed 12

Have been waking up at 4 am in order to adjust to UK time for my trip to Walsingham next week. This means I am tired by midday! Holy Unction & several HC visits this a/noon, then supper at 5 pm with some 8 am parishioners.  

Thurs 13

Today is the anniversary of the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. I was 14 at the time & studying German in High School. The news from Berlin both apalled & intrigued me, & since then I have had a gr8 interest in German history & politics. In 1974, when I travelled around Europe with my friend Waine (in a Volkswagen) it was awesome to drive thru East Germany to Berlin. We had a day in E  Berlin & walked along the edge of the wall – causing a bit of a fuss with some E German soldiers! In 1989 I sat transfixed before the TV watching the Wall fall. 5 years later I returned to Berlin to see it for myself….& I have kept returning to what is one of my favourite cities.

Fri 14 – St Maximilian Kolbe

I haven’t been feeling gr8 the past few days. Thought it was because I am getting up early to adjust to UK time – but it’s a mild virus. Didn’t really feel like preparing a sermon this morning. By the a/noon I was better – & produced what I think is a good sermon for the Assumption :-)

Sat 15 – The Assumption

One of my favourite feasts – we will keep it with splendour tomorrow! I am remembering that this time last year I was in Sicily – & 2 years ago in Walsingham with my parish pilgrimage. Was up early, & prepared my sermon for Sun week in Norwich. 9 at Mass this morning – incl Norma (altar guild director) with her arm in a sling. A quiet day at home for me as I get over this virus & prepare for my pilgrimage next week.

Sun 16

We celebrated the Assumption again today. There were extra acolytes at 8 am & 10 am, & both Masses were lovely. I had a relaxing a/noon, & at 8pm will be driven to the airport by Karl for my 10 pm flight to Washington DC – the “red eye”, which gets in at 6 am Monday. Then I catch the 9.30 am flight to London, arriving at 10 pm.

Tues 18

A day in London. My hotel room has a balcony with a marvellous view of Westminster Abbey & Big Ben. The perfect place to say Morning & Evening Prayer! I tried to do some ecclesiastical shopping, without success. In the a/noon I visited my friends at the office of the diocese in Europe & at 6 pm had dinner to celebrate the 40th birthday of an old friend from Fitzroy, Alan.

Wed 19

In the morning I walked to Chelsea. I wanted to see a monument to all the Marian shrines destroyed at the Reformation – but it is not erected yet! Then I walked around the famous Royal Hospital. Even tho I lived nearby in ‘75, I had never visited it.  In the a/noon I caught the train to Crickhowell in Wales. I am going to visit Jill Bishop, whose husband, Fr John Bishop, died in 2007. Fr John had a 3 month sabattical in Melbourne in 1991 & spent time with me at St Mark’s. John & Gill returned twice after that & I visited them twice, incl a lovely few days in 2004, after he retired & they moved to Wales. It was gr8 to see Jill again. She cooked me a lovely dinner & we chatted & chatted!

Thurs 20

Today Jill drove me to 3 interesting places: Brecon, where we visited the ancient cathedral, Hay-on-Wye, a village known for its large collection of book-shops & Dore Abbey. This proved a stunning climax, for the church is an 11th cent Cistercian monastery rebuilt into a handsome parish church by command of Archbishop Laud. The ancient stone altar is till used for Mass. Another wonderful dinner from Jill, & more chatting! 

Fri 21

I returned to London by train, & checked into the hotel where our 2007 pilgrims had a delicious dinner on our last night. In the evening I watched a bit of the Proms on TV, then had drinks with friends.

Sat 22

I got up early enough to catch the train in time to attend the 11.30 am Mass at St Mary’s, Kenton. Afterwards my friend, Joan, drove us to Norwich – a pleasant 2.5 hr trip. Joan is staying with her brother, who lives in the city, & I am staying with my old friend, Fr Martin Smith. It was gr8 to see him again. When I was at St Mark’s he & I regularly visited each other. His wonderful parish – St John’s, Timberhill – was so hospitable to our parish pilgrimage 2 years ago. It is good to be back in Norwich as I remember that wonderful pilgrimage!

Sun 23

Mass at 11 am at St John’s was lovely. I preached & many were glad to seee me again. To my surprise, the Bishop of Norwich was in the congregation. He was very pleasant & even made nice remarks about my sermon! For lunch Joan, Fr Martin & I drove to a nearby village. We had a lovely lunch on a warm, sunny a/noon. Tonight Fr Martin is providing supper for Fr Adrian Ling & me. Fr Adrian was a member of St John’s when I 1st visited 12 years ago. Now ordained, he has a parish in Norfolk…it will be nice to see him again.

Mon 24 – St Bartholomew

Joan & I drove to Walsingham at 9.30 am, & arrived an hour later. After settling in I said Mass in the shrine at 11.30 am. It was good to see the sisters & other staff again. The new Welcome Center (which All SS contributed to) is magnicent. The whole Shrine has been transformed in the past 10 years, & is wonderful. After Mass I went shopping. In the a/noon I addressed 150 postcards to parishioners. Tomorrow the cards will be on the altar when I offer Mass in the Holy House for the parish….a tradition of mine going back to 1989! So now I have begun my pilgrimage. EP at 5.30 pm, followed by shrine prayers. Drinks with Joan after supper :-)

Tues 25

I had a good sleep. Mass at 10.00 am, followed by Stations & Rosary at the 15 Shrine altars. After lunch I met with Sr Teresa – our relationship goes back to 1996. Later I walked to the Slipper Chapel. At 8.15 pm I took part in the Service of Healing & Reconciliation. I had not experienced this before….it consists of sprinkling from the holy well, exposition of the Sacrament, followed by Laying-on of hands, anointing & confession. I was one of the priests who anointed, & it was very moving for me. Afterwards I made my confession – but had to wait until 9.45 pm!  

Wed 26

I said Mass at 9.30 am, after which we had coffee with the sisters & said our farewells. We left at 10.45 am & were back at Joan’s in London at 1.30 pm. I caught the tube to my hotel in Gloucester Rd (same as Wed). To my delight I was given a suite with an upstairs bedroom! Having a few hours free, I went to the Museum of London – very interesting, but needing a return visit. Tonight I will stay up late, to adjust back to SD time. 

Thurs 27

I caught the tube to Heathrow at 10 am for my flight at 1pm, flying via Denver. I got home at 8 pm. It was nice to be back – SD looks lovely as the sun sets over the harbor 🙂

Fri 28  St Augustine of Hippo

Was up early (still on UK time). In the office at 8 am – a lot of mail, etc to catch up on. Most parishioners seem to have received their postcard from Walsingham – posted just 3 days ago! Terry is away for a week’s vacation, but has left everything organised. Fortunately I did not have to do a sermon, as we have a guest preacher – Archdeacon David Lowman from Chelmsford, UK. Fr David is here for a week’s holiday with his friend, Fr Philip. I met David in 1975 in London – we were 2 young men at St Saviour’s, Pimlico on our way to ordination. We re-established contact 12 years ago. He came here in 2006 & our parish pilgrimage visited him on our way to Norwich in 2007.

Sat  29  Beheading of John Baptist

Up early again! 9 am Mass was followed by baptism prep. Weather continues to be hot. At 5 pm I hosted a supper for our pilgrims with Frs David & Philip – very nice.

Sun 30 – Pent 13

Despite the heat we had good attendances: 55 at 8 am & 100 at 10 am. The baptism at 10 am swelled the numbers! It was a lovely baptism & something happened I had never experienced with a baptism – when the parents came up for HC, as I blessed little Roland he looked at me with the most wonderful smile, like an old friend.

Drinks for Frs David & Philip after Mass, then a relaxing a/noon in the heat.

Mon 31

For my day-off I took David & Philip to Coronado. Lunch at the Hotel Del, of course! In the evening we had dinner at a local restaurant.