02 December 2008

What a week!

You may have noticed that I have taken a bit of hiatus from the blog over the past recent days. There is good reason for this.

Saturday morning my Pastor was hospitalized with great pain, which resulted in an unexpected surgery yesterday morning. It was a successful surgery and he is now resting uncomfortably in the hospital. We expect him to be released in the next day or so.

In terms of parish life, he really can’t have fallen ill at a worse time. This afternoon began the Advent round of confessions with the seniors and juniors at the high school. Tomorrow evening we have a Penance service at our mission parish. Our second graders will make their first confession Sunday afternoon. Next week the grade school students receive the Sacrament.

During his absence I have been attempting to find additional confessors for the many Penance services; I am delighted to say that I’ve found all that I need for this week and Sunday, which is especially remarkable given that there are at least three other penance services in our deanery tomorrow evening.

Our retired priest – may God bless him richly! – is taking one of our two Masses each weekday, and helping out with confession and Masses this weekend and on the holyday Monday. The parish staff has also been very helping in reminding me of what needs to be and assisting me in finishing some of it.

I’ve also covered the Pastor’s classes this week, written a bulletin column in his stead and somehow not to go completely insane. I’ve been stressed a bit lately, and mostly only because I worry too much, as one of the wrestlers reminded me this evening. I’ve been a worrier as long as I can remember; it’s part of my nature. He’s right, though, I do worry too much.

To help survive the week, I’ve cancelled all unnecessary appointments and engagements, which was a good idea since other appointments and tasks have naturally come my way. But of all of my weekly appointments the one that I refused to cancel was wrestling practice.

What I’ve found is that if you’re ever stressed and overworked, all you have to do is visit with high school students and you’ll find worries largely going by the wayside for a bit. I’ve even popped into the high school a few times at random just for a laugh or two.

I’m now a bit worn out from confessions this afternoon (you’d be surprised how tiring hearing confession can be for priests). If my guestimation is right, I heard the confessions of about a third of the junior class (and there were three other priests present!). As they were coming into the confessional one after another, I wanted to step outside for a moment and say, “I can’t hear all of your confessions. Visit another priest, please.” But I didn’t.

I’ve already received word that no small number of sophomores intend to come to me for confession tomorrow, and I suspect it will be the same with the freshmen. I suppose having them line up to confess to me is better than having them stay clear.

Even with all of the added activity it has been a good week, one to remind me to trust in God; he’ll sort out the problems in his own good time and see to it that every task is accomplished. For this, I am grateful. Still, it will be good to have the Pastor back; he does quite a bit more than I thought!

If you would, please ask the Lord to give me additional stamina and energy over the next couple of days. As the week goes on my energy reserves will soon be depleted; today I’ve stayed awake on adrenaline; I do intend to go to bed early tonight. Also, please ask the Lord to bless those who have been so helpful to me over the past few days.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to post much over the next several days, but if I can I will.

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