Thursday, November 29, 2007
I have hardly had a moment to even think about posting - and as posting about nothing would be exceedingly dull, perhaps a ten day - or even two week gap is a good thing. The other thing is that everytime I feel like posting, I have to write one of my columns for the newspaper, and that somewhat dulls the enthusiasm. The parish has had a tough week or so, - the death of an eighteen year old, killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Very faith-filled family - very full Church for the funeral - but, as any of my priest readers will know, that kind of pastoral work is both distressing and amazingly draining. That funeral was swiftly followed by another one - then the visit of the Bishop to bless our new reredos. I am also organizing our next speaker for our Clergy Continuing Education - the world famous Father George Rutler will be coming in two weeks to give a day of recollection. During the last week, my good friend Father Stephen De Kerdrel visited from the Mull of Kyntyre in Scotland (picture above). He is a hermit, and we have known each other for 26 years, having studied together and been in the Capuchins. It was very nice to have a visitor from home - to talk about old friends - of course, now that he has departed, it makes me somewhat homesick and the house feels particularly empty. So far, I have not received many invitations into the homes of the parishioners, but given the silly schedule, I probably couldn't go anyway! There are all sorts of good things happening - I am very encouraged by the strong desire for adult education - more than 50 people every Thursday night for the RCIA - but plenty of 'challenges' - not to be described to protect the innocent! Talking with Father Stephen, it was good to hear that everything we might think of as unique to Vermont in the Church is happening at home - good and bad - and the encouragement of a man who spends six hours a day in prayer and has battled incredible trials over the last 7 years - helps one to keep going - especially with his profound historical understanding of the current battle in the Church between the dying forces of a decayed liberalism, as Cardinal George, the new President of the US Bishops recently said - and the truth of orthodoxy. More encouragement was given by the new Papal MC - and the Pope's recent words on music and the liturgy. Father Stephen drew my attention to the words of Archbishop Ranjiith, soon to be the new head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and a key BXVII appointment, about the "rebellion" of some bishops. Father Stephen believes that the schism is very near - possibly within the next year or two. Now, more than ever, reading some good Church history is essential.