Sun Mar 1 – Lent 1

A busy morning: Baptism at 10 am, Holy Unction after & several people wanting to chat. Good attendances. The lovely warm SD weather is finally here again ;-)

Tues Mar 3

My very good friend from St Mark’s, Val Fraser, arrives from Melbourne today for a week’s holiday. She was scheduled to arrive at 1.45 pm, but delays at SF will not see her arriving until 7.15 pm. I will take her straight to Clare’s, where she will be staying. Clare has organised a welcoming dinner party for her tonight… will be a late start! 

Wed Mar 4

A bit of sadness today. After Mass met with a parishioner agonising over difficult surgery, followed by meeting with the parents of man whose funeral is on Friday. Then at 1pm a phone call advising the death of June, one of our faithful parishioners whom I have been visiting weekly with HC for the past 9 months. Went straight to their home for the final prayers & commendation, & to be with the family.

At 6 pm 23 attended the extra Mass for Lent. This is the best attendance for this Mass since 2005! Most stayed for the Lenten supper & 18 attended the study groups. It was a new format this year, & seemed to work well. Our group had a spirited discussion.

Thurs Mar 5

An email from Bishop Andrew Curnow to say that our check had arrived – causing gr8 excitement in the diocesan office. When converted it = AU $17,000. Also our diocese is sending Bendigo $5,000. How wonderful for Bishop Andrew.

Fri Mar 6

A busy day today, with 9.30 am Mass followed rapidly by bible study, a mail-out from me to parishioners, Requiem Mass for Carl at 1pm & Stations at 6pm. Parishioners have been busy organising the funeral reception & flowers……the mark of a caring community. 

Sun Mar 8 – Lent 2

Daylight saving time change…..attendances affected. I had lunch for Val & 4 parishioners. Not the Rector’s casserole, but beef cooked in beer! Beautiful Stations & Benediction at 5 pm, but only 45 attended.

Tues Mar 10

Another busy day – such is Lent. Vestry at 7pm…….a lot to discuss/plan. We are doing quite a lot of maintenance on the facilities, & have the money to do it.

Wed Mar 11

Fr John Edwards is 80 today. “I made it” he said on Sunday! He celebrated the 9.30 am Mass. In the a/noon I took Val to the airport. She has had a good holiday. At 4.15 pm I had the children’s 1st Communion class. This is always challenging & sometimes fun! It is a joy to teach them about the Mass & Communion….today I told the Passover story & how Jesus is the Lamb of God. We always finish in church with prayers. Over 3 months they have learnt how to make the sign of the cross, genuflect & say the Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be. If this is all they learn I will be satisfied. At 6pm we had our special Lenten Mass, followed by supper & 2nd study group.

Thurs Mar 12

Various emotions today. A grateful email from Bishop Curnow for $5,000 donation from our diocese. Continuing concern & prayers for a younger parishioner in hospital. 11 am Requiem Mass for June – a faithful parishioner whom I have visited with HC every Wednesday for past 9 months. Excitement in the a/noon: a new vestment arrived – a generous gift from a parishioner. 4.15 pm youth confirmation class……gr8 to teach the Faith & impart enthusiasm for the church. 6 pm Mass. 7.30 pm adult confirmees. Always an amazing encounter as I answer deep questions off the top of my head. Tonight we covered the Trinity, nature of Christ, other faiths, church calendar & Confirmation…all in 1 hour!  

Fri Mar 13

Woke up early to watch the football pre-season final from Melbourne. Collingwood were soundly defeated…I should have stayed in bed! What does this mean for the 2009 season, which starts in 2 weeks? Mass at 9.30 am, followed by bible study. Fascinating readings this week. In the a/noon I do my sermon & will visit Teresa in hospital. 6pm Stations, then supper with Grace & Mrs Tsui, remembering the anniversary of Mr Tsui’s death. 

Sat Mar 14

Another busy day. Societies of Mary had to compete with St Patrick’s day fair patrons wanting to park in our lot! 11 am Rosary, 11.30 am Mass – attendance only 15. At 1 pm we had the Personnel Review c/tee, & later I did a HC visit. Exposition & Benediction concluded the day.

Sun Mar 15 – Lent 3

Some of my favourite hymns at 10 am today. The anthem also good: ”Behold the Lamb of God” from Handel’s Messiah. At 1.30 pm I caught the plane to NYC for my Lent retreat, arriving at midnight. From Mon – Thurs I stayed at the House of the Redeemer, near Central Park. This is a lovely Italian villa left to ECUSA for a retreat house. Check it out: This is the 3rd year I have gone here for my retreat.

Sat Mar 21

My retreat was very good. NY is a marvellous city, & there is something invigorating about being in this gr8 metropolis on retreat. Monday I went to Mass at the Church of the Transfiguration, where my friend, Bp Andrew St John, is Rector. We are members of an exclusive club – priests who had significant ministries in Melbourne & then went to important postions in the USA. It was good to catch up with him over a meal. I was blessed with sunny days on Tues & Wed, so was able to go for lovely walks in Central Park. Tuesday was St Patrick’s day, so I watched the amazing St Pat’s day parade up 5th Ave, & then went to St Pat’s cathedral for Mass. Wednesday was church day! 9 am Mass of the Pre-sanctified at the Russian cathedral 2 blocks away; 12.30 pm Mass at the local RC church; 4pm walked to St John the Divine to see that amazing space – now re-opened after a disastrous fire; 5.30 pm Evensong at St Thomas’, 5th Ave; 7 pm Lent ServIce for Harlem churches at St Martin’s, Harlem (where I have preached). Thursday it rained! I checked out of the House & moved to a hotel near Times Square. Being St Joseph’s day, I celebrated by going to the movie “Doubt” & having cheese fondue in a Swiss wine-bar. I have never had cheese fondue, & always wanted to! Was up early Friday to catch the 11.30 am flight back to SD. A refreshing retreat – & good to be back home 🙂

At 1 pm I had lunch with the flower guild. I presented my idea for a flower festival in connection with the centenary in 2012, & already the ideas are flowing.

Sunday Mar 22 – Rose Sunday

Good attendances at both Masses today. The altar flowers were stunning. At 8 am I blessed a new rose tunicle for the crucifer to wear at High Mass.  The High Mass was inspiring – the rose vestments, good music & more of my favourite hymns! I preached a powerful sermon on the Eucharist – & received praise from Dr Peter Toon :-)

Mon Mar 23

My day-off – & a lovely sunny day. Usual chores AM: laundry, gym, bank, shopping. Will call in at church – a few things to do for the Bishop’s visit on Wed. Then, maybe the beach & continue my Lent reading.

Tues Mar 24

Busy day, spent mostly in the office preparing for the Confirmation tomorrow night. 4.30 pm met with the Bishop, 6.30 pm Finance C/tee.

Wed Mar 25 – Feast of the Annunciation

One of my favourite feasts! At 7 pm we had High Mass & Confirmation. 3 teenage boys & 2 young women were confirmed. It was a marvellous celebration. The Bishop did okay as celebrant (considering he describes himself as an evangelical & rarely celebrates Rite 1) & he was impressed with the large congregation (120). The music was very good & the Confirmation a wonderful experience for the 5. Then at the end a large group from the Tongan community sang a wonderful hymn in 4 part harmony, as only Polynesians can do. It was thrilling. 

Thurs Mar 26

A quieter day. Lots of good feed-back about the Confirmation last night. After 6 pm Mass I had the adult confirmation group – gr8 discussion. The AFL football season begins this w/e – so I went to bed early & was up early AM to watch the Fri night game on cable TV.

Fri Mar 27

Attendance at Mass & bible study down. Bible study met in new meeting room – former music director’s office, now nicely set up for small groups. In the a/noon I did my sermon. This was an interesting exercise as Sunday we have 1st HC for kids. The atmosphere of joy will be overshadowed by the Passion. Crosses, etc will be veiled in purple, the hymns are about Christ’s passion & the readings a marvellous theological exploration of Christ’s passion. I shall begin 10 am sermon talking with the kids – who knows where that will lead!

Sat Mar 28

A beautiful sunny day here. 2 birthday bashes to attend today.  1 pm: 88th b/day of a lovely old house. 4 pm: 50th b/day of a parishioner.

Sun Mar 29 – Lent 5

A wonderful Sunday at All Saints’. Excellent attendances at both Masses – 48 & 110 communicants. The church looked gr8 with everything veiled for Passiontide. At 10 am 4 children received their 1st HC, with their families present in full suppport. As 2 lots of parents do not attend church, this was a good opportunity/challenge for the preacher! I began my sermon by talking & questioning the children. After the sermon I admitted the children in a simple rite. As the Mass went on, it was all wonderful & the singing of the communion hymn, “Were you there”, was very moving. During the notices I gave each child a certificate, SOM gave rosaries, & 8 year old Andrew welcomed them in a beautiful little speech. Then we processed out singing heartily “There is a Green Hill”. Afterwards there was a magnificent cake for them to cut at coffee hour. It was a day in which I feel so blessed to be Rector of All Saint’ 🙂 

Mon Mar 30

This w/e was the opening round of the Australian football season. So tonight I watched the weekly 1 hr AFL review on cable # 621! Nice to see Port Adelaide’s victory :-)

Tues Mar 31 

A quieter week this week. My final Confirmation & HC classes, & Lenten study group. A few home Communions. A confession this morning….the 1st of several leading to Easter.