Tues Feb 1
Arrived safely – tho didn’t sleep much. At least my flu has abated. Munich is covered in snow….it looks so pretty. But it’s very cold!

Wed 2 Presentation of The Lord

The anniversary of my ordination. Munich in the snow is a sharp contrast to Adelaide in the heat back in 1980! A day of thanks & reflection, as I contemplate my future, & give thanks for 31 amazing years as a priest. I have a choice of 2 Masses to celebrate tonight: St Peter’s or the Frauenkirche. Both have the traditional Candlemass procession…..I went to both!

Thurs 3

Nice flight to Barcelona, where the sun is shining. After checking into my hotel I walked to the Sagrada Familia Basilica. This is GaudiΒ΄s gr8 masterpiece, and it is amazing. Nice dinner in a local bar.

Fri 4

Went back to the basilica and spent 2 hours being overawed. Then walked all around the Eixample neigbourhood, which is filled with wonderful examples of Modernisme buildings. In the a-noon I wandered around the old Gothic center. Finished up with Mass in the cathedral, then dinner in the same restaurant again….because they kept half of the bottle of wine from last night for me!

Sat 5

Up early again & off to Montjuic. This is the large mountain overlooking the city. I explored the Spanish village erected for the 1929 International Exhibition…..similar to ones IΒ΄ve seen in Budapest & Transylvania. Then climed to the top to see the Olympic Stadium. I remember the archer who shot the arrow to light the flame in Β΄92! Then I walked down the other side and along the waterfront. It was a sunny day & everyone was out & about. I finished up at the city park. Am attending Vigil Mass at the local parish church tonight, then dinner.

Sun 6

Today was “free admission” day at some significant places, so I took advantage of it. After Mass at the magnificent St Mary del Mar basilica I went to the City Hall, with its magnificent 14th cent chambers. Then to the excellent Catalan History Museum, then a walk along the beach-front & late lunch. Finally the best of them all, the royal palace. Beneath the palace & its 13th cent chapel are the Roman ruins of the original city – quite fantastic.

Mon 7

Today I fly to Frankfurt. I have loved Barcelona, & will return! I fly back to SD on Tues.

Tues 8

An eventful trip back…….my flight via SFO was delayed, so I was rebooked via DC – with 40 mins to get thru security, passport control, etc. I made it in time, & after a long flight, returned home very tired

Wed 9

Busy day in the office (of course). Because the flu is still hanging on, I went to see the Dr at 1pm. He referred me for an x-ray, “just in case”.

Thurs 10

Feeling lethargic – but too much work to do! I did Sunday’s sermon in the a/noon, as I will not have time tomorrow. After 6 pm Mass the choir took me out for dinner. A very enjoyable evening. To my delight, the drinks menu had a hot rum toddy πŸ™‚

Fri 11

After 9.30 am Mass we had at 11 am Mel Watling’s Requiem. It was a big parish funeral for a gr8 servant of the parish & of the Lord. The church was full, with 80 comms. The Mass was lovely, & I received many compliments/thanks for my eulogy. Lovely reception afterwards. After that I saw my tax agent, to file my 2010 return. I phoned the Dr & was told that my x-rays were okay. At 8 pm I was planning to go to the symphony – but was so tired that I was in bed by 7 pm!

Sat 12

Monthly Societies of Mary today. This will be my last as superior of our cell/ward. Fr Edwards will take over until the new rector arrives. In the a/noon I have a HC visit, followed by another “farewell” dinner πŸ™‚

Sun 13 Epiphany 6

Yet another lovely sunny day. I am almost over my flu/cold, with just a bit of sniffling. Wonderful music at 10 am. Afterwards I had a nice lunch with one of our young families. At 4 pm I am having supper with another of our wonderful families πŸ™‚

Mon 14

Today I go on my annual pilgrimage to Walsingham (OLW). Clare, Ruby & I fly to London today. Fr Stephen Powers joins us on Wed & we stay in London until Friday. Friday we catch the train to Norwich, & meet Joan Hooton there.

Tues 15

We arrived safely in London. I slept 6 hours on the plane & Clare & Ruby upgraded to Bus Class. Tube to their hotel – we are delighted to be back in London1 Mass at St Mary’s, Bourne St, where we met up with our old friend from 2007, Henry. Drinks at my hotel, then dinner at the restaurant where we ate in 2007. New management, new staff, new prices!

Wed 16

Clare & Ruby explored Kensington whilst I had lunch with my friend, Joan, & collected our train tickets. Visited the offices of the Diocese of Europe & then Mass at St Mary’s again.

Thurs 17

Today I visit the Forward in Faith office & have lunch with the UK SSC master, Fr Kit. After Mass at St Mary’s I take the new vicar, Fr Cherry, out to dinner.

Fri 18

Clare, Ruby, Fr Stephen & I caught the train to Norwich, then walked to the Holiday Inn hotel. Joan arrived by car shortly after. It is very cold! C, R & I walked to the Julian shrine, then back along the river. Memories of the 2007 parish pilgrimage come flooding back πŸ™‚

Sat 19

A wet, cold day. The All SS pilgrims slept in this morning! We walked to St John’s for 12 noon Mass & were made very welcome by Fr David, the assistant. He is looking after the parish whilst Fr Martin is on a 3 month sabbatical. He reminded us of a younger version of Fr Martin! We then walked a few minutes to All SS Center – a former church now a drop-in center, where we had lunch. C, R, J & Fr S then went off to the cathedral, whilst I went to check busses to Walsingham. Tonight J’s brother joins us for dinner in the hotel.

Sun 20

We all went to Mass at St John’s. The people were glad to see me back…the congregation has grown since I was last here – & lots of younger people. Afterwards I had lunch at the home of Fr David. The others had lunch nearby, then went to E/song at the cathedral.

Mon 21

This morning Fr S & I catch the bus to Walsingham, & the gals go in Joan’s car. We will have a lovely 4 day pilgrimage there, staying in the Sister’s guest house. Tues night Clare is cooking dinner for us & Bp Lindsay – Joan is providing the wine & I am providing the choccies! We return to London on Thurs – C & R with Joan & Fr S & I by bus back to Norwich, then train to London.

Thurs 24

We are back in London after a marvellous 4 days at Walsingham. Weather cold – & wet on Thurs – & the shrine was quite empty. But this only assisted our communion with God & each other. I said Mass each morning & Fr Stephen each afternon. The rest of the time was free for prayer, etc. The dinner Tues night was excellent.

Ruby & Clare found it even better than our pilgrimage in 2007 – as I knew they would. They have been inspired spiritually. I have done some good praying & reflecting about life after my retirement, assisted by wonderful meetings with Bishop Lindsay & Bro Paschal, SSF – who were such good counsellors/confessors last year.

Tonight the others joined me for dinner at my hotel. Tomorrow we fly out at 12 noon to DC, then on to SD, arriving at 8.15 pm.

Fri 25

We arrived home safe & tired. Rick met us at the airport & drove us all home πŸ™‚

Sat 26

It is raining! I was up early & have a busy morning, with 2 baptism interviews, & then a sermon to do. I hope for an early night.

Sun 27 Epiphany 8

It is sunny again! We had 2 baptisms at 8 am Mass today. This is very unusual – baptisms are always done at the 10 am Mass. However both families are faithful members of the 8 am congregation, so it seemed appropriate. The organist provided music, & a special motet had been written & was sung at the offertory. A g8 attendance – 65 comms. Afterwards the congregation provided a marvellous reception. 10 am Mass had excellent hymns & music. My sermon was about the baptism & was even better than at 8 am! Afterwards I went to a lovely brunch for Kyler’s baptism at Tom Ham’s lighthouse. Wonderful view of the harbor & city.

Mon 28

Today is SSC Foundation Day. I celebrate a special Mass at 12 noon. Before that I am in the office – so much to do this week!