FATHER FRANK’S LOG: 8TH – 15TH OCTOBER
One of our volunteers told me this week that she was heading off on her first visit to Rome and what came to mind immediately was that little phrase: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”; and that seemed appropriate as I try to settle in here at St. Mungo’s and find myself getting frustrated at times trying to learn so many things. As I mentioned last Sunday at Masses I’m having a struggle getting used to all the keys and, so far, I’ve been locked in; locked out and was becoming afraid I might eventually be locked up. Lights, phones and alarms are another challenge; as are banks and books and confusing correspondence. I’ve been down and up, and down and up, to the Archdiocesan offices in Clyde Street to be vetted and mandated, and to swear my Profession of Faith and my Oath of Fidelity so as to formally take up my role as Parish Priest. I’m here just over a week and so much has been happening.
Thank you for the lovely welcome to Father Gareth and I at last weekend’s Masses; even more than ever we are keen to get working and, with your help, try to move the parish forward. Father Gareth as you know is keen to meet with young adults and explore with them some fruitful ways of coming together. I’d be keen on meeting with anyone who might be interested in being part of the music ministry in St. Mungo’s; those who have been part of it in the past; those who are part of it now, and those who never have been but would like to explore the possibilities. There is a beautiful organ there not being used on a regular basis and there is a vast array of beautiful liturgical music that can really help to make the liturgy a place where hearts and minds and voices are raised to God. I myself have been very involved in parish folk group ministry and the learning and playing of some of the folk group material now available is such a prayerful experience in itself. So if anyone might be interested why not let me know – you can approach me in the church or give me a call.
Those are just two of the things that come to mind – there will be many others as we journey together, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and having reached my 65th year I will take as my mantra this 17th century prayer from a very wise senior nun:
Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will one day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but You know Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other's pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint - some of them are so hard to live with - but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the Devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.