Saturday, 17 January 2009

St Anthony of Egypt

A couple of busy days in the Parish both for Fr Mark and for me. The Parish Administrator was here bright and early on Wednesday. Booklets were prepared and printed for the many upcoming events. Funeral done, deanery chapter attended and lessons planned for RE teaching till Easter in one of the schools.
Thursday we had the school inspection by the diocesan inspector and after the daily Mass the morning was taken by this.
After Mass on Friday Fr Mark conducted a funeral in church while I visited our "enlarged" hospital. I had the joy of spending a long time with the patients and the staff. Some patients were saying how comforting it is for them to see a priest in the wards and to know that they are being prayed for, as indeed they are. A patient was opening up and saying that during his years of illness a particular avenue that might contribute for his cure has never been explored. I suggested that he should have a chat with his GP and see. His reply was that his GP does not have the time! Both of us being registered with the same surgery I can see what he is saying but is this where we really want our modern, godless society to be? Is this what happens when what is a vocation for healing becomes a job? When we lived in London our surgery was a one doctor affair, I believe that is a rarity in the UK. But how wonderful he was and how much time he dedicated to his patients, one was never rushed and his advice always sound, the thing is he was constantly placed under threats of closure from the NHS which not only annoyed him but also the many patients he had, including all the students that live in central London. I hang my head in shame when I hear about some professionals not having enough time for these little ones.
The afternoon saw the joy of Sacred Space, Divine Office and Benediction followed by a funeral visit. Pew sheets were printed, reading and intercession lists done and all seems to be ready for the week end.
Today is the feast day of St Anthony of Egypt. Mass today will be kept on the altar of All Souls where we have his statue and also for today only his relic. You can read more about this great saint here.
After a wedding preparation session I look forward to some free time as by the grace of God we embark upon another week, a week in which we shall pray for the unity of Christians. It will be another busy week for us, you can read more about it here.

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