Tues Dec 1

Busy morning in the office! Fr Edwards will be saying the 12 noon Mass from today instead of me – due to the discontinuation of Thurs 7 am Mass. This morning I consulted with Jim about the robbery, etc. I composed a letter about increased security, which will be mailed to parishioners. HC visits in the a/noon, then dinner at St Paul’s Manor.

Wed 2

Still following up the robbery! Also trying to arrange HC visits in anticipation of Christmas :-)

Thurs 3

I spent most of the day in the office, except for 2 HC visits. 6pm Mass was followed by an excellent confirmation class, then supper at a new Italian cafe around the corner.

Fri 4

A sunny day & usual Friday things. At 7.30 pm we have a wonderful Christmas concert in the church. This is a Christmas story based on the star of Bethlehem – words & music written by Ron Gillis, our lead tenor.

Sat 5

The Christmas performance last night was excellent. A full church & Ron’s marvellous singers made for an exilirating experience. I narrated the story of Electra, the star of Bethlehem. Tonight Elaine Williams is having a Jamaican dinner in the parish hall to raise funds for work with children.

Sun 6  Advent 2

A lovely Sunday morning – good music, excellent attendances (comms = 54 & 80), 2 new choir members……………………..& no robbery! 

Mon 7

A terrific winter storm today – but only a few leaks at church. My cell-phone is not working properly :-((

Tues 8  Immaculate Conception of BVM

Terry away – so spending most of the week in the office. Later today 1 HC visit, finance c/tee at 5.30 pm & Hillcrest History Guild dinner at 6.30 pm.

Wed 9

Activity at the church today – Andrew & Craig are fixing up the fountain. It hasn’t worked for months. Also the new rose hangings are on the high altar, for Rose Sunday this week. There aren’t many churches that have rose frontals!

Thurs 10

Sniffles have developed into a cold. So I stayed in the office & cancelled 2 HC visits.After lunch I went home & did Sunday’s sermon. This leaves tomorrow a/noon free for visiting. 6pm Mass followed by Confirmation class, then home for hot dinner & early to bed :-)

Fri 11

After Mass our bible study group has it’s annual Advent party at Michelle’s. She always goes to gr8 trouble to make it really nice. After that I have a hospital visit. At 6 pm we have the Pre-school staff dinner.

Sat 12

It’s raining! This morning we have Societies of Mary: 11 am Rosary, then Mass & lunch. Always lovely :-)

Sun 13  Gaudate Sunday

The new rose frontal looks lovely – esp with some beautiful roses on the altar. “Rejoice” was the theme at High Mass, thru the vestments & music – with 2 gr8 Advent hymns: Veni Emanuel & Wachet Auf – & my sermon continued the theme.  Afterwards Elaine Williams provided a delicious BBQ lunch.

Mon 14

For my day-off I drive to the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano – famous for the return of the swallows on St Joseph’s day. This has been on my “list” for years – & it was a most enjoyable visit.

Tues 15

A busy morning in the office. Jim made my computer faster! Planned HC visits in the a/noon did not eventuate. Vestry at 7pm. A good, jolly meeting.

Wed 16

Not-so busy in the office. HC visit at 1pm. Back to church at 5 pm for the Preschool Christmas concert.

Thurs 17

A full day. Work in the office in the morning, then 3 HC visits: 1st for Mel & Nel Watling’s 65th wedding anniversary, then my monthly visit to the 5 ladies at Atria, then to Marty, our out-of-action choir librarian. 6 pm Mass followed by confirmation group. Home for supper – & fell asleep watching TV!

Fri 18

Usual Friday. Will be thinking of my 3 Christmas sermons after I finish Sunday’s sermon, which is short because we have the children’s nativity play at 10 am.

Sat 19

9 am Mass is followed by confessions. Meanwhile the flower guild & helpers decorate the church with wreaths, etc. Unfortunately this must be done today & the poinsettia’s will be done on Wednesday.

Sun 20  Advent 4

Good attendances (8 am 56 comms, 10 am 90 comms). At 10 am we had the children’s nativity play, which was delightful. Music excellent again – we had Elgar’s Ave Maria during HC. Afterwards choir & acolytes rehearsed for Thursday night 🙂 

Mon 21

I had a quiet “day off” at home, & finished all 3 Christmas sermons. Feel very pleased with myself! 

Tues 22

Good to have Terry back…he is typing up my sermons from Dec 6, 13 & 20! Lou Locke & grandchildren in to decorate the tree. HC visits this a/noon.

Wed 23

The ladies are in to do the poinsettia’s & altar flowers :-)

Thurs 24

Christmass Eve – & all is in readiness! Confessions 10.30 am to 11.30 am – always a wonderful & emotional experience for me, as I dispense God’s liberating grace to those who have the honesty & courage to acknowledge their sins. A HC visit for Charles’ birthday after that.

The Feast begins with the 6 pm Vigil Mass. 60 attended with lots of children….I had fun with them setting up the creche 🙂

Fri 25  Christmass Day

Midnight Mass was wonderful! The church looked beautiful & the music excellent. Not as many as last year – 101 communicants, but plenty of visitors. Many comments about my sermon. I think the Midnight Mass sermon is the most important sermon of the year, as there are many visitors & people searching spiritually. Over 30 years I have had many adult converts thru Midnight Mass.

9 am Mass of the Day was lovely. A good congregation of 55. We were all tired in the sanctuary, of course, but I still managed to sing it all! It was a beautiful morning & I hosted lunch for 6 parishioners – the 1st time I have done this in 10 years. A happy gathering, even as I started to fade at 3 pm!

Sat 26

“Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen”. Very tired today :-)

Sun 27

Attendances not bad today, considering. Music good, of course. For my Christmas break I fly to SF, stay there overnight & in the morning fly to Puerto Vallarta for 3 days of much-needed relaxation 🙂 

Mon 28

I arrived in PV at 3 pm, feeling quite unwell – Christmas exhaustion, I guess, tho it feels like something I ate! Had a quiet night at the very nice Intercontinental resort hotel (with its private beach!). The sound of the waves pounding was very relaxing.

Tues 29

Still feeling weak. Caught the bus into the town & explored around. After lunch at a beach bar I walked the 8 km back to the hotel, even tho I still feel unwell. A quiet night in the hotel.

Wed 30

Still not 100%! Today I will walk to the zoo nearby, then a relaxing afternoon at the hotel. This is a different sort of trip for me – doing nothing! Obviously it is what I need…..was Christmas that exhausting?