Monday 10 October

It’s been quite a week with the main event being the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Here in Tampa people went into panic mode and bottled water was hard to find on supermarket shelves as people prepared to ‘hunker down’. In the event Tampa was barely affected and despite some increase in wind the thing passed without concern. The same cannot be said for those in Haiti, the Bahamas or along the east coast of Florida. There has been massive loss of life reported in Haiti and complete devastation of communities barely recovered from the 2010 hurricane.

Our local bishop ordered $250, 000 from funds to go to relief and a second collection was taken at all Masses over the weekend. It was fortunate that the readings this weekend were about gratitude and the relationship with strangers.

Into all this played the second Presidential Debate. It surprised me from the outset that no one had the guts to inform Trump that his tie was tied so incorrectly tied that the bottom stuck out from his jacket. Maybe he was trying to cover his fly which had been the source of so much gossip since the release of embarrassing tapes two days earlier?

Yesterday a parishioner sent me an article in which Trump promised to be the all in all for Catholics. I replied by suggesting that it was similar to Satan offering everything (that was not his to offer) if only Jesus would bow down and worship him. In the bar during the debate (which I had recorded) the sound was turned up on the baseball and silent on the debate. Folk just are not interested in the debate … just in the gossip! I wonder what will be reported now that Pope Francis appears to advised folk to vote Trump!

Workwise it was fairly hectic. We learned earlier in the week that tomorrow (Tuesday) we have a School and Parish Staff Retreat. This would mean a day off for the school but would reduce essential preparation time for the parish staff. I also learned that I would be expected to create a prayer time based on the Liturgy of the Hours and on the theme of Christ in our midst. I chose verses from psalm 12, 73 and 139, Christ be beside me and Always in your presence and hope that it all works. Our priests have been away on a Clergy 4 days together so I haven’t been able to get any feedback.





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