April 1  Maundy Thursday

I spent the morning at home in the hope of getting rid of this cold! Went to the office at 2 pm – Melissa had all the bulletins, etc all ready & organised. The Altar of Repose looks wonderful. At 7 pm we had a wonderful Mass of the Lord’s Supper, with a good congregation. I managed a good sermon, but sang quietly!. The Washing of the Feet was moving, as always. This year most of the 12 were from the 8 am congregation. Everything went like clockwork for the Procession to the Altar of Repose & the Stripping of the Altar. At the end we had something new – Martha sang a haunting solo, “At the cry of the 1st bird they began to crucify Thee”, by Guion. This was a very moving climax. The chapel was full immediately afterwards for the Watch, & from 10 pm I was never alone (for the 1st time).

April 2  Good Friday

It has always seemed strange to me that today is not a holiday in the US. I go to church at 10.30 am for Confessions (incl my own). Stations at 12 noon, conducted by Fr K….I can rest my voice! More Confessions at 5 pm, then the liturgy at 7 pm. I did not sing much! Both veneration of the Cross & HC seemed to take forever. 87 communicants – another best-ever.

Sat 3 Holy Saty

Lots of preparations at church this morning. Confessions at 11 am, then I will rest at home until 5 pm (confessions) & then the night of nights! The Easter Vigil was beautiful, with excellent music. The 2 baptisms were especially wonderful. Another full church – the biggest for the Vigil since my 1st year (89 comms).

Sun 4  Easter Day

This is the day that the Lord has made…we will rejoice & be glad in it!

A full church for the 8 am Mass, which Fr K celebrated. I think my sermon was the best Easter sermon I have ever preached. High Mass began with a magnificent organ fanfare for the processional hymn, then a truly marvellous liturgy to another packed church. Stunning music, concluding with Handel’s Allelujah Chorus after the Dismissal. Afterwards I had 2 HC visits, then at 1 pm a relaxing lunch with 5 parishioners, followed at 3 pm by a magnificent dinner with parishioners & guests. Then home to sleep! At 9 pm I caught a red-eye flight to Chicago & on to Savannah for my Easter break. Another city I have wanted to visit. 

Mon 5

Fr Craig O’Brien (SSC & assistant at historic St John’s) met me at the airport. He took me for a quick tour of the city & then he dropped me at my hotel. I spent 2 hours wandering around this beautiful & historic city. Went to 5.30 pm Mass at St John’s, then drinks at the rectory, after which Fr Craig took me to supper in a delightful old house, now a boutique hotel & restaurant. I was in bed at 10 pm & slept until 8.30 am – BLISS!!  

Tues 6

Went on a 2 hour walking tour, which was a fascinating tour. with some beautiful homes. In the a/noon I explored this wonderful city. At 4.15 pm I went to St John’s & Fr Craig took me on a tour of their historic property. After 5.30 pm Mass Fr Craig took me to a restaurant called “Noble Fare”!

Wed 7

Another beautiful, warm day! I went for another walk around the historic center. Fr Craig collected me at 1 pm for my flight home via DC. It has been a lovely Easter break.

Thurs 8

A busy morning in the office, broken up by a meeting with the bishop at 11 am. 6 pm Mass was not followed by confirmation class.

Fri 9

9.30 am Mass, followed by bible study. Home to do my sermon. Tonight I will listen on the internet to my football team (Port Adelaide) playing Brisbane at home. They lost 🙁

Sat 10

9.30 am Mass, after which I meet with the Personnel C/tee. 3 HC visits in the a/noon.

Sun 11  Easter 2

It is a lovely tradition at All SS that on Low Sunday the altar flowers are white, with 5 red carnations – to symbolise the 5 wounds of Jesus that Thomas wanted to touch. Good attendances at both Masses.

Mon 12

Relaxing day-off. Saw the movie, Avatar.

Tues 13

A busy day, finishing with the finance c/tee at 5.30 pm.

Wed 13

Another busy day! Now Lent is over we have goodies to eat after the Wed Mass….today cup cakes with chocolate icing 🙂

Thurs 15

Woken up at 3 am by a phone call! Fortunately it is a quiet morning in the office. HC visit & wedding interview in the a/noon. Dinner with parishioners after 6 pm Mass.

Fri 16

Am a little concerned about the volcanic ash from Iceland interfering with my flight to London on Sunday night. After 9.30 am Mass the bible study group looked at the final chapters of our Lent book…a very profitable bible study.

Sat 17

Our flight to London tomorrow night is still scheduled to depart…I will keep checking! Good number at 9 am Mass (again). Lunch today with the Toon family to honor Peter’s anniversary next week. 4 HC visits to fit in, as well as packing for my trip.

Sun 18  Easter 3

Both Masses were well-attended, with 100 comms at 10 am. Music excellent, as usual. I received many positive comments about my sermon – which was more reflective than didactic.

At 2 am my flight to London was cancelled! I have been re-booked for Thursday, so will still get to Norwich & Walsingham. Clare & Ruby have cancelled their trip. We have all now booked to go to Walsingham next February. I spent most of the a/noon on the phone concerning my re-booked fights & cancelling hotels. At 4 pm went shopping, as I had (as usual) emptied my fridge in prep for the trip away.

Mon 19

I now have 3 days in San Diego I was not planning on! Today I need to rest. Also now have more things to organise for my trip. Can arrange some parish work for tomorrow now. Went to Ocean Beach to relax. Was in bed at 7 pm!

Tues 20

Up early – adjusting to UK time. Lots of emails back & forth to UK! More phone calls re flights & hotels. Still not sure if I will take-off on Thursday. This morning I will be at church, like a normal Tuesday. 2 HC visits in the a/noon, & an early night again.

Wed 21

I have checked in online for my flights….just hope it all works out now!Spent the morning at church, a quiet a/noon & early to bed. My flight is at 7 am. If I actually get to London the Blog will be quiet until after I return.

Fri 23  St George’s Day

When I checked in at SD airport at 5 am on Thurs the United agent said he could get me a flight from SAN to Washington to London – 2 stops instead of 4…..& 99% chance of upgrade to Bus Class. And that’s how it turned out! Arrived at Heathrow at 8am. Spent time in the chapel (grateful to have arrived!) then caught tube to Liverpool St station. Caught train to Norwich, arriving at 12.30 pm. A lovely sunny day. Walked to my hotel & was able to check in. Then went for a walk along the river & around the city center. 5pm Mass at St Julian’s, then dinner with my old friend , Fr Martin Smith. Was very tired, so an early night.

Sat 24

Had a wonderful sleep-in & a late breakfast in the hotel. In the a/noon I went on a 4 hour cruise along the river & into one of the Norfolk Broads. It was a lovely trip. In the 13 years that I have been visiting Norwich there has been a wonderful development of apartments, restaurants, etc along the river banks.

Sun 25  Easter 4

I concelebrated the Solemn Mass at St John’s, Timberhill. Nice to catch up with lots of old friends. After lunch I walked along the river around the city. Norwich is a lovely city.

Mon 26

Caught the bus to Walsingham at 10.45 am, arriving there at 12.15 pm. Lovely 90 min ride thru Norfolk countryside & villages. Wonderful to be back, & to see the sisters again. My friend, Joan, arrived from London at 2 pm. At 5 pm I said Mass, celebrating St Mark’s day, with special intention for St Mark’s, Fitzroy. To my delight & surprise, at 6.30 pm there was a special Solemn Mass for the Guardians’ Chapter, at which Bishop David Hope gave a nice homily. Supper was over by the time Mass finished, so Joan & I drove to the the nearby village of Wighton, where there is a homely pub with a wonderful restaurant. We had a great meal, complete with Aussie wine 🙂

Tues 27

I had a gr8 sleep! At 11 am I said Mass with intention for All SS. The rest of the day was spent with devotions & reflection. At 3 pm I met with Sr Teresa, for a wonderful time of sharing & counsel. At 8.15 pm there was the Service of healing. I did anointing, & then was asked to hear confessions – very moving & emotional for them & me.

Wed 28

I concelebrated the 11 am Mass. I reminded Bishop Lindsay that the last time we had concelebrated was in 1998 – Solemn Mass in St Mark’s Community Centre, when we were restoring the church. I met with Bishop Lindsay at lunch-time & with Bro Paschal at 3 pm. Both were a wonderful time of sharing & discussing my ministry. At 8.15 pm it was the candlelight procession & Benediction, which I was invited to preside at. It is always an honor to do this, & I remembered that the last time was exactly 10 years ago.

Thurs 29

At 9.45 am I said a special Mass with intention for my ministry. Joan was joined by Sr Teresa & 3 ladies from Brighton. Joan & I then drove back to London, & I checked into my hotel at 3.30 pm. In the evening I had dinner with my old friend from Fitzroy, Alan, who lives in central London.

Fri 30

I caught the tube to Heathrow for my 2.15 pm flight back to SD. A nice relaxing trip back, with many things to reflect on. Arrived at SD airport at 9.20 pm. It is always a gr8 feeling to land, with the bay glimmering. I did not sleep long – still on UK time. A busy w/e ahead, with the bishop’s visit on Sunday & 3 adults being confirmed.