Last Saturday, after the 10am and 12.15pm Masses, I headed up to my brothers to perform my usual caring duties. Father John and Father Gareth were on the duty list for the evening Confessions, and Father John kindly looked after a group of American visitors who had asked to celebrate Mass in the church. They had their own priest and two permanent deacons with them. As they had promised to be finished in time for the Adoration and Confessions, due to begin at 3pm, there was no problem, and we were happy to welcome them. It was unfortunate that Saturday wasn’t the most pleasant day, weather-wise, and this was to be their only day in Glasgow before moving on to Edinburgh, having arrived to Glasgow from a tour of Ireland. I arrived back to the church in time to prepare for the Vigil Mass at 6pm. After parking the car in the yard, I went to get my rucksack out of the boot. The car wasn’t the car I normally drive and, somehow, I managed to bring the boot crashing down on my forehead with quite a bang. After praising the Lord profusely, I went up to the office where we have a refrigerator. In the freezer box there, I keep some things for my brother, as he only has a tiny little freezer box in his fridge. The advice on such occasions always seems to concern making an ice-pack out of frozen peas. Vegetables of any kind aren’t my brother’s strong suit, so I had to make do with a pack of frozen sausages, and I think they worked just as well, as now, a number of days later, no bump has developed. Apart from the initial shock, and the shedding of blood, it was never particularly sore, but I was left with a nice scar that made me look like a cross between Harry Potter and Frankenstein. If I was so inclined, I would have been all set for Halloween.
This was the third occasion in recent times that I had banged my head in a similar place. The first was when Connor, the Passionist student who spent some time with us in St. Mungo’s recently, collected me at George Best Belfast City airport to go to a meeting in Crossgar. This time, as I placed my bag into the boot, he managed to bring the boot crashing down on my head, with a similar outcome. This time, there were no frozen sausages, or frozen peas, quickly to hand, and so I ended up with a nice bump on my forehead that took a little while to disappear. The second occasion was after one of our Friday night Passionist Community take-aways in Bishopbriggs. Having bagged up the debris, I carried the bag out to the bin. It was a stormy night and, no sooner had a lifted up the lid of the bin, than the wind caught it and brought it crashing back down on my head, leaving me with another nice wound to show off, and with which to try to elicit some sympathy and TLC. Not that there was much of that forthcoming from the other Passionists, who seemed to find it all rather amusing. Reflecting on these experiences I am inclined to draw one or two conclusions. The first is that I may be getting a bit dithery and doo-lally in my old age and need to be more careful. The second is that I must have a hard head as not too much damage has ever accrued from these episodes.
Speaking of meetings in Crossgar, I have been attending yet another one this week. Unable to get a flight on the Wednesday, I am imagining because of people returning to Ireland from the Celtic match the night before, I had to drive, but that was okay. Always around this time of year we have a gathering of community superiors to review how things are going. It also gives me a chance, as Provincial Bursar, to update the men on our present financial situation, and to invite the leaders to get their communities together, and to begin preparing budgets for the coming year. As you can imagine, budgeting for the coming year will not be an easy task in the present climate, but it has to be done. Once again, it was good to meet some of the brethren I hadn’t seen for a while. Father Antony was there and is doing fine. So too, back in Bishopbriggs we continue to get on with things, and everyone is well enough at this time.
As always, protect yourselves, your loved ones and others, and protect Christ in your lives.