01 February 2010

A day in the life of a pastor

Today brought about the beginning of Beardfest 2010, together with a flurry of activity.

The day began with Mass at 7:15, after which I ate breakfast and set to work on a bit of paperwork, particularly this weekend's and next weekend's bulletins.

About 9:00 I went to put my "Mass kit" together for Mass "on the go." When I tried to twist the cap off of my little bottle for wine which needed to be refilled, my fingers, feeling the effects today of arthritis, were unable to remove the cap; apparently when last I used it I put the cap on too tightly. I found another bottle that sufficed and hope my fingers will have enough strength tomorrow to twist off th cap.

I celebrated Mass at the nursing home at 9:30 and visited with a parishioner afterwards.

When I returned to the rectory I worked with my secretary to pay parish bills, write a couple of letters and start planning ahead for next week during my absence from the parish. I also fielded a few telephone calls.

Just before Noon I went over the to the church to work on the sound system and hook up a newer microphone. We'll see how well it works.

I returned to the rectory for a quick lunch and continued attending to more paperwork.

Just after 1:00 I took a little walk downtown to do a bit of business at some of the local stores and to pick up a box of envelopes we ordered. From this I learned a valuable lesson: check to see how many envelopes you ordered before you decide to pick them up on foot; it isn't terribly fun carrying 2,000 envelopes for several blocks.

By the time I returned to the rectory the mail had arrived so I went through it and paid a few more bills with the help of my secretary.

And then it hit: a change in the weather. Before I really knew what happened my energy level bottomed out and my exhaustion showed clearly on my face. Try as I might, I simply could do no more and went to bed.

This, naturally, only increased my anticipation of my retreat in Hawaii which begins one week from today.

The forecast calls for only a flurry or two in the morning, but I think we'll get more than a flurry; not in the morning, but tomorrow night and into Wednesday morning. We'll see who is right.

After eating dinner I met with the parents of our first communicants.

This evening I have spent writing a few more letters and searching for the year the present rectory was built; I haven't yet found it.

It's been a full day and I'm happy to see it to it's end.


  1. You seem so young to have arthritis. Have a good day.

  2. Be that as it may, I have it.

  3. Father, I understand.
    I have similar health problems: fibromyalgia/arthritis and the weather here in Wisconsin is not helpful.
    It is a real struggle.
    Know you are not alone.
    I will offer my sufferings for you...I am a contemplative priest in a new community in our diocese...
    I do not have all of the stresses of a an active priest, but I struggle just the same.
    God love you!

  4. Thank you, Father; I will offer my pain for you, and will pray for you at the grave of Father Damien.