Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Actually HERE!

Hello Everyone - Well we are here on Andros safe and sound. So far we have been unable to get internet access at the parish on Andros so my entries here will be sparse until that happens. Right now I am back on Nassau so I'll try to update you on the latest activities for now.

We arrived on Wednesday, Nov 11 in Nassau, met the Archbishop on the 12th, then the various Archdiocesan offices on the 13th (Finance, Religious Ed, and Family Life). Finally Friday we took a ferry to Andros. We had each taken 2 large suitcases which is more than the small plane to Andros can handle so it was the ferry or swim - we took the ferry.

Arriving at the rectory we were surprised to see the extent of the improvements the Archdiocese had done since our last stay. The church and rectory were painted, cracks in the walls repaired, new furniture - absolutely wonderful. We even have a DOUBLE BED!! We feel wonderfully blessed that they did so much to make our stay as comfortable as possible.

Each weekend we have done 3 Eucharistic services, we may have a priest visit either this week or next. Thanksgiving Day I did a Eucharistic Service at the AUTEC Navy base (The only religious service they had that day). Mid week the men on AUTEC pray the rosary, followed by a DVD showing of Fr. Corapi of EWTN on the Catechism, followed by discussion. It is actually quite good.

One rather special event for me was the consecration of an Icon at Christ the King parish in Cargill Creek. When we were here a year ago we left right before the feast of Christ the King so I ordered an Icon of Christ the King and sent it to them for their feast day. Well, when I got to their parish, no Icon. I search for it and find it on a shelf and discover they never hung it up. So - on the feast of Christ the King, using holy water from St. Timothy's, I blessed it in front of the parish and it is now installed next to their tabernacle.

Our biggest challenge right now is CCD. They have had nothing for 4 years so there is a backlog of children awaiting first communion and confirmation. Unfortunately those that graduated and left for college during those years missed confirmation. We plan to have CCD registration for the next 2 weeks and then see how many kids, of what ages, and where they're located. That will help us focus on the scope of the CCD effort that is needed.

The reason we are on Nassau today is that once a month the Archdiocese brings all the clergy from the family islands onto Nassau for a day of prayer, teaching and community. The speaker tomorrow is a Fr. Clifford who has done some extensive writing on St. Paul. It should be pretty good if he lives up to his reputation. After the session Ginni and I will start shopping for things we cannot find on Andros. Everything from a floor mat for our shower stall to a piece of 4 inch PVC piping and hopefully we will find someone to make extra keys (I already locked myself out of the van once).

All in all we are adapting to island life. While we have been here 3 weeks we've only gone to the beach once. There is much to do. Besides writing homilies and the spiritual dimension of what we do, there is the practical. I need to put together a budget, track petty cash, and begin to get familiar with the financial procedures of the Archdiocese of Nassau. I need to come up with a plan for CCD and RCIA, order CCD books and bibles, buy a copy machine, and get a Bahamian National ID Card (similar to our Social Security Card). sigh.

The only other thing I should mention is the weather. Its been windy, cool, around 60, and windy, when a front comes though its a monsoon, and its windy, when its sunny it is gorgeous, but windy (did I say it was windy).
Actually I shouldn't complain, my son Mike called one night and when I said it was cool, in the 60s he laughed and said, "Dad, its 21 here today," so I guess the weather isn't that bad.

Enough for now, hopefully my next entry will be from Andros.