Showing posts from April, 2016

Be the parish secretary. Go on I dare you.

Parish Secretary.  Now to many people those 2 words conjure up the image of a retired lady, in twinset and pearls (and I mean no offence to either retired ladies or twinsets and pearls), sitting in the office for a few hours a day, answering the seldom ringing phone, making the odd cup of tea for the priest, filing a handful of documents a week and crocheting and reading to fill the rest of the hours.  That I believe is how most people think the advert for such a post would read.
Now I do not know every Parish Secretary that there is.  I do not know if the opposite of the above is unique to very large parishes only.  Or to parishes like mine that are vibrant and alive and have dozens of interest groups, ministries, support groups and other things like perpetual adoration, a massive catechism group, young adult group, youth group, bible study, parish council, articles in publications, soup kitchen, Lifeline and on and on and on.  
Busy parish = Busy priest = Busy secretary.  
I opened …

best self. better self. what a disaster. wisdom from a nun.

Two weeks ago I commented to a friend that when I come back in my second life, I want to be a nun.  She asked why but the answer was complex .... and has nothing to do with my unbelievably awesome hubby and kids, but much more to do with a striving for excellence, compassion, kindness, near perfection and everything else that seems to come to mind when I see these ladies.  And yes, I speak to nuns regularly in my job. And yes they laugh if I say I strive to be as perfect. 

It took me longer to get my friend to stop laughing than it did to complete my nun explanation.  I do agree that when looking and listening to me, nun is not at the forefront of your mind.  Admit it. 

But yesterday I thought a lot about nuns again, because I spoke to one twice on the phone this week, and having spent time with several nuns on a social level over the last two years, I know to be true the fact that they too are striving .... to be compassionate, to be kind, to be doing the right thing ..... 

Our parish p…

50 kinds of gorgeous papers. what a lot of love.

Many of you do know that when I turned 50 in January, my daughter turned 21, and came home from Cape Town for our joint celebration.  When she left to go home, and I returned from the airport, there was a glass jar on the dining room table.  Beautifully and colorfully decorated .... and marked in front in silver koki ... "50 Things About You".  My Jess had decorated this jar and inside were 50 slips of folded paper, to be opened and read one at a time whenever I felt like it.  And on each of the 50 papers she had written some memory - funny, poignant ... whatever, that she had of me. 

Friends have asked me what kind of things these slips said .... which I read out to my hubby and son, much to their amusement.  So here are the ones I have already opened - you will learn something about me .... and share in my joy at the same time. If you think you know me really well ... did you know all this? So ... as written by my daughter to me -

One word "crispy" - you sometimes …

casting your nets. asking for help. that man in the arena

Casting nets on the other side of the boat was the Gospel today during Mass.  

It gave me food for thought whilst driving home.  How often do we do that?  Or do we tend to fish on the one side of our boat day in and day out and eventually in total despair just toss the net back into the boat.  Now I have, through trial and error, happy and bad times, by hook or by crook and such, become over the past couple of years a master of casting the net both sides of our boat.  Hell, I even cast in front and back sometimes and if necessary I will even swim under the boat dragging it. 

They say "necessity is the mother of invention".  Well Amen to that.  Whilst discussing it online with someone this afternoon she commented "but you do not know how hard it can be" .... no my dear, I do.  Trust me we have the PhD, MBA, and every other letter in this. Re-casting is what my speciality is.  I am not addressing this to people who tell me they are battling because they now eat out 3 a…