Sunday, 31 July 2016

The handbag. The church bell. Those embarrassing moments.

The 10 am Mass is currently on.  I should be in it.  I was.  At least for a very short time. And then it went pear shaped. 

I opened the Repository from 9 to 10 am as usual.  It was going well.  Great filter coffee, lovely customers, new floors, everyone likes the new layout of Repository and all was sunshine and happy Sunday morning.  

Two customers stayed after 10 am and as we were chatting about items in the Repository and WYD, the time ticked on and I only ran across the road at 10:10 ... this sometimes happens when I still have customers. Also there was a problem with an overflowing Jojo tank pointed out to me by several parishioners, which required me to make a call after 10:00 to someone. It could not wait.  And the Repository is my Ministry. 

Not wanting to walk into the church so late, and with the cry chapel being full, I circled the church, entered from the other side by the Sacristy and stood quietly in the passage at the back of the church.  It was still going well.  I listened to the Homily and decided I would stay where I was.  Nic was altar serving alone and all was still well. 

Until then ..... 

Hearing the Sacristy door open behind me, I turned to see who was in there in the middle of the Mass.  Two things happened simultaneously.  I saw one of the young counting guys walk out and in the swing around I hit the church bell with my handbag.  It rings once to signal the beginning of Mass and the entrance of the Priest, Altar servers, Readers etc. 

It rang 4 times.  The young guy snorted and ran back into the Sacristy..... I was paralysed with embarrassment and while it was still ringing ... and with 409 parishioners who had swung around ... I turned and ran into the Sacristy behind him. 

I wished in that moment that I was a visiting Catholic that would not be at this parish again. Or a completely unknown parishioner.  Or invisible.  But no, I have to be the parish secretary. 

Now in the big scheme of things this is not a catastrophic issue.  The bell rang.  It was a mistake.  And yes, out of nerves and being so red faced I could not stop laughing ... nor could the youngster.  Luckily out of sight. 

I went outside to the grotto.  Sat with the statue of Mary.  Prayed and apologised profusely. 

Now I am in my office.  Waiting for Mass to end.  So that I can tell my son that those bells .... it was his mom. 

Apologies to anyone who may be grossly offended.  There are worse things that could have happened. 

c'est la vie .... such is my life. 

Till soon 

Friday, 29 July 2016

A million Catholics at WYD. But also millions who are not.

The media is full of World Youth Day in Poland.  A massive gathering of Young Catholics *and the not so young* to spend time together examining their Faith, interacting with other young people, visiting churches and other landmarks, attending Masses and of course the very wonderful opportunity to actually see the Pope, up close (or as close as you can get with a million people) and personal.

Much attention and photographs have been published on social media about this - flags, excitement and a mutual bond of Catholicism.  Many comments have been published about how this massive group of dedicated young people intend to carry this message forward and live it out when they return to their respective countries and parishes.  Will everyone do this - no.  However one hopes that the majority do.

What has concerned me somewhat is the amount of emphasis on only this group when talking about the time to come, and I have even read 4 different articles / opinions over the past week which seem to indicate that the young Catholics who are dedicated to their Faith and active in their parishes are somehow restricted to those who made this trip.  Many young people were fortunate that they, or their parents, or a sponsor, were able to fund the huge amount *especially for South Africans* to attend. Many others were chosen because of their involvement in the various youth activities and other in their parish ... and rightly so.

However perhaps thought must also be given to the other Youth who could not afford to go, or did not make the cut ..... numbers are limited ... parishes have budgets ..... and please understand that I get that.  It is a bit like prefects.  Many awesome people do not make it, it is a numbers game.

But to prevent a "us and them" when kids return worldwide, it is important that those that went take cognisance of those that didn't.  That they are still collectively a group, that together they need to carry the Faith and messages forward, collectively they are a generation.  Feedback is needed from those who attended, so that collectively they learn.

I am sure some will be offended by my thoughts on this. Please know this is not an attack on those that went, but simply comments about focus of media.  But this is my forum.  And as the blog is named .... c'est la vie

till soon

Mo Salah, My car and other stuff

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