Thursday, August 21, 2008
It remains quite hectic in the parish with one thing and another. Last Sunday we had our sixty-eighth baptism so far this year. In some countries that may not sound very many but for us it's a lot. In fact it is the highest number at this point in the year since 1972. The parish clearly still deserves its local reputation of being "Nappy Valley"!
On Sunday I made the mistake of mentioning to the people that I would be away this weekend attending the Youth 2000 retreat ay Walsingham. That has occasioned a deluge of the requests of the "I want it and I want it now" variety :o)
I'm lucky that we have a number of Spanish seminarians staying in the parish at the moment. They look after themselves and I don't need to do anything except turn up for meals. It's also great because occasionally they can spice things up of an evening. Thus the Seekers' Meeting on the Feast of the Assumption became a barbecue with musical accompaniment and a visiting priest from Cardinal Bertone's office was given a taste of his Spanish homeland without me having to worry about entertaining him.
On Tuesday we had a Day of Recollection for seminarians and those thinking of the priesthood. It went very well but again I was liberated from the burden of worrying about food and all that sort of thing.
Yesterday I went over to Woldingham to the diocesan Servers' Camp. This is an annual event organised by Fr Stephen Boyle. The youngsters have a full day of activities some of a religious nature but not excluding a lot of fun! I got there just after they had spent a couple of hours in the pool and as I left they were heading into town for an evening of ten-pin bowling. Fr Stephen had invited me to give a talk on World Youth Day which I did willingly but not before a Blessed Sacrament Procession and a good period in the Confessional before supper. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and it was great to see them.
If I can get things packed without too many more distractions I'll be leaving shortly for Walsingham. The retreat ends on Monday and Tuesday is a clearing up day. I will stay down there on Wednesday and Thursday to catch up on some parish paperwork. Hopefully there will be an internet connection otherwise things may be quiet once again for a while.