Tuesday, May 11, 2010
More Easter info - Confirmation is next
Its hard to believe its been 6 weeks since Easter already - time flies.
This is one of the Bahamians we welcomed into the Church during the Easter Vigil. I am at the ready with the chrism as Fr. Frank Herrmann prepares to confirm him.
During that time we have had a wonderful visit by friends of ours from MA who now live in VA. Company is always welcome, especially when they are old friends. There is an old ryme "Make new friends, and keep the old, one is silver and the other one is gold". Well it is absolutely true.
Frank and Ellen have known us for a L O N G time and it was a joy to see them again.
Frank and I have always loved fishing and one of our RCIA candidates (I guess I should start calling him a new Catholic now) took us out on his boat. It was a rough day and inevitably we all caught fish but most we returned to the sea.
This is a MARGATE and cooked up very tender.
We have had a few Easter pics given to us from other folks with cameras. This is at the blessing of the fire and you can tell by the fire that the wind was b l o w i n g!
Here is one of me trying to get the Easter Candle into the church without the wind blowing it out or me burning my hand - I was able to do both! Then I had to sing the Exultet - fortunately there were no pictures or recordings of that!
The candle was donated to us by our parish back in Norwood MA. Although it already has had a year's service it is MUCH better than anything we could have gotten here. Thanks St. Tim's!
After Easter is the annual Clergy Retreat. Priests and Deacons go on this retreat together and it was a great time to finally rest after the Easter crunch and wallow in the Lord's presence. It was bitter sweet in that, while the retreat was great, one of the Sacred Hearts fathers who was a great support for us here, retired. The retreat was his last Bahamian event and after 39 years in the Bahamas he will be sorely missed.
Before he left he shipped me some of his books. I took one of them on retreat, a meditation on the Sacred Heart by Bernard Haring. The retreat provided lots of spare time and the book was the highpoint of my retreat, once more I learned about the awesome, overwhelming love of God in a new way.
Another high point of the retreat was my discovery of the graves of the Benedictines who have served on the islands. One of them, Fr. Gabriel Roerig OSB, was the first priest to evangelize the remote 'family islands'. The island he made his home was Andros, my island. He arrived here with his books, and his tools, and basically built his church, built his house, and built the faith of the Bahamian people here into a thriving, living church. When I read about his life I am absolutely blown away with what he accomplished, having so little to work with. But all things are possible with God and, with God, Fr. Gabriel did amazing things. Finding his gravesite was significant for me and I spent one afternoon just praying by the gravesite.
Our next hurdle is Confirmation. After almost 2 years here we have 6 that are of age for Confirmation. 2 had never been baptized so they recieved baptism, eucharist, and confirmation at the Easter Vigil. The remaining 4 will be confirmed on WED night, the Vigil of the Ascension. St. Timothy's usually has Confirmation on the Ascension so I feel a certain kin-ship with the Archbishop coming tomorrow for this blessed event. But that is the topic for the next post.
I should tell you one more tale of life on Andros. Palm Sunday we arrived at the Church in Cargill Creek to find the toilet had overflowed and ran all night. This soaked the rugs in the Sacristy and the Church. In this climate the mold and mildew wasn't far behind. So I put in an insurance claim and we get through Palm Sunday. During Holy Week there is a part of the Good Friday liturgy when the celebrant lies prostrate before the altar (We did a solomn bow so as to avoid the rug).
Eventually the Archdiocese told me the claim was approved, I ask if I can start work and they so go for it. So -- I go buy $2000 worth of tile, hire a mason, and off we go. Well the day the tile arrives at the dock, I meet it with a truck and we take it to Cargill Creek, where the Church has no power. While the trucker unloads the tile I discover that in the circuit breaker box we'd had a fire and all the wires were melted. How the Church didn't burn down is God's doing. So now I need to find an electrician. So I drive back to Fresh Creek and find an electrician willing to come look at it. Then we head off back to Cargill Creek. He sees it and says "O Deacon, dis is bahd". I explained I had a mason arriving in a few hours to start work and he was going to need electricity and he does his best to jury-rig a fix, but says its a patch job and he'll have to come back - fine with me.
Anyway he fixes it just as the mason arrives. Work starts and the Archdiocese calls to tell me that they had changed insurance companies and the approval from the 1st company was invalid since the change had happened prior to the flood and the 2nd insurance company would now need to give its approval. At this point its too late to turn back so I tell them to go get the approval.
While I am waiting for that the work continues and, wonder of wonders, the inside of Christ the King now looks fantastic with a new tile floor - and it was done in time for Sunday services! Now he's working on the Sacristy and I'm sure it'll be great. All I need now is for the insurance money to come in so I can replace what I've already spent.
Next time I must tell you about Confirmation and 'having Church' alongside a caggage field with some migrant Haitians I discovered up north. Run Run Run
Till next time