Saturday 11 April

The last week has flown by. I had hoped that there would have been a bit of relaxation following the exertions of Holy Week but although I managed to take three days off those which I worked were arduous.

Although I had most of Wednesday down at the beach with my kayak in the evening I had choir practice. Many of my Sheffield musicians will have appreciated the ‘week off’ I gave them after Easter. Not so here. The bishop is celebrating confirmations with us on Saturday 18 April and whilst this would not normally present much of a challenge in this instance there are 107 confirmandi and the bishop likes to have word with each of them as well as anoint them. This means that more than 30 minutes of appropriate music has to be devised. So the choir assembled for the Wednesday rehearsal and was greeted by a flood of music sheets. Predictably they requested two rehearsals next week and since we will definitely need these I was happy with the request.

We are still getting many positive comments about the music during Holy Week which is gratifying and spirits are high in the choir.

On Thursday evening I was invited to my first meeting with the Parish Pastoral Council. Hitherto a faceless bunch it was good to meet with them and introduce myself to them. I have never been embarrassed by my CV so I shared it with them as I saw in it one way of quickly introducing myself objectively.

Normally I would have started today’s work Mass at 4pm but today there was a funeral at 11am and a wedding at 1.30pm. These went smoothly and were more speedy than the funeral during the week when as folk processed from receiving communion each saw it as an appropriate to share compassion and am embrace with one of the relatives. It was not long before there was a traffic jam and the priests had to pause their distribution frequently.

This evening, after two Masses with great homilies from Monsignor Jo McCann about Thomas and his nickname, I returned home to write my second ‘letter from America’ for a UK liturgy and music magazine and watch Graham Norton!


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