Friday, 13 June 2008

Saint Anthony of Padova, Priest, Friar & Doctor of the Church

Following Lauds and Mass, Fr Mark went to distribute Holy Communion to the housebound. The electrician came to do some work in church. Together with his wife he does all the electrical work in church for free. Today they have adjusted the light on the altar of Our Lady of Walsingham, and they have really done a great job.

After a brief meeting with our Parish MC, I went to hospital for the usual visits. One of the patients is an artist who painted landscapes all her life. From her bed she holds a scrapbook and is planning and sketching her new work after she returns home. Another patient has spent many years in Malta and so this gave us a lot to talk about. He knows the islands really well and even knew Ms Strickland who owned the daily English newspaper in Malta called The Times.

On my way back from hospital I met some parishioners and gave out some medals to children. Nearby I met another family and gave out two more medals. The young boy said to me: “That’s the mummy of Jesus”, his mother wanted to know more and so the medal provided an opportunity to talk about Mary and that led us to speak about Jesus.

After lunch I went off to church for another meeting with the electrician and than exposition and Sacred Space. Stuart came and did all the work on the pew sheet which is now ready for Sunday. At 3.30pm Fr Mark and I shared the Office of Readings and Vespers of St Anthony and this, as happens every Friday, was followed by Benediction. We prepared the Walsingham altar for Low Mass tomorrow (Our Lady on Saturday), the first time this altar will be used in its new location. At the end of Vespers a young man walked in church and sat at the back. He said that he enjoyed our chant very much and asked me to explain what we were doing. After a quick word about praying with the Church for the Church, he opened his heart and said that he came to make his peace with God as during the last five years he went astray. I assured him that Jesus always awaits with open arms. He took a parish magazine with him and promised to be in touch. Prayers please.

On my way home I was stopped by some builders who are working next to the church. They where asking why two priests are always coming in and going out of the church, why we wear black robes and all that. At the end of our conversation one of them took me aside and asked for prayers. How many people need Jesus, how few labourers…

I’m stopping for the day and look forward for another one tomorrow. Some of our congregation are off to Bolougne for the FiF pilgrimage. Fr Mark is leading the group. The booklet for our Festival is ready and it will be printed early next week. The poster of the Festival will be on another posting.

I feel sad tonight as friends of mine who were fighting off London speculators (mentioned in an earlier post) have lost their appeal. It is sad that people are not allowed to enjoy the peace of their dream home come true. I ask God to pour his blessing on this wonderful family tonight and to give them the courage to overcome this problem. I am sure that their Faith will give them the fortitude they need.

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