I know that the mystery of my missing mobile phone has become a bit of a soap opera at this stage, but hopefully we can draw a line under it this week. Last Saturday morning I received a letter from the lost property office of Police Scotland to say that someone had handed in a driving licence that looked as if it belonged to me and could I contact them. As it was a Saturday I had to wait until the Monday. As my driving licence had been tucked inside my phone – stupid, I know – I was hoping that the phone was handed in too. On Monday morning I called them and was invited to come in and collect. Unfortunately, it was only the driving licence that had been handed in, which more or less confirmed that someone had the phone, and had discarded the licence. So, now I really have to let it go, and thank St. Anthony for his efforts. The lost property office of Police Scotland is right opposite Glasgow Green so, before returning to St. Mungo’s, I took a walk in the Green for the first time in ages to check out progress on the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens after all the glass had needed to be replaced. It’s one of my favourite places in Glasgow and I hope that it can open again soon.
In between times, there was another mystery in St. Mungo’s. On Sunday morning I mistakenly came in the wrong door, not realising that the alarm was still set. I started getting calls from the monitoring company and, eventually, had to accept I would need an engineer’s reset, which wouldn’t be possible until the Tuesday, it being the September Weekend. But then, after the 12 o’clock Mass, a mysterious high-pitched bleep started to sound, more or less at one-minute intervals. At first, I presumed this must be connected to the alarm issue, but preliminary investigations suggested that this was something totally different. Father Antony and I did our best to locate the source of the sound but eventually just gave up, although I was hearing bleeping sounds in my head for the next two days, and even in my sleep. Our maintenance man had the Monday off, but when he came in on Tuesday morning, he went into Sherlock Holmes mode, and I knew he would not rest until he had located and sorted the problem, which of course he did, all by the time the 10am Mass was over.
That day was the Feast of the Archangels, and my thoughts went back to a Triduum of Hope, in honour of St. Charles of Mount Argus, that I preached some years back at St. John’s Church in Kilkenny. High above the church was a statue of St. Michael the Archangel, and on either side of the main entrance were carvings of St. Raphael and St. Gabriel, the other Archangels. After celebrating the opening ceremony, I was approached by a Brazilian family who asked me if I would bless their recently born twins. Happy to do so, I asked their names. “Raphael and Gabriel”, they said. So, I have blessed angels in my time. I’m sure the twins must be 12 years old by now, as it wasn’t long after the Canonization of St. Charles in 2007, and every year at this time, on the Feast of the Archangels, I wonder how they are doing.
That same day we had the rehearsal for the First Holy Communions which are taking place this weekend. It’s a pity that the children can’t do readings or prayers, or bring up gifts, or sing, but at the end of it all they will have received the Body of Christ for the first time, and can receive this precious and wonderful gift ever after, and that’s the most important thing.
Back at the ranch, myself, Father Justinian and Father Antony are all doing okay, nothing new to report from last week. Father Gareth, however, has made enquiries, and is now advised that he can travel back to Scotland without any issues. So, with his mum doing okay, he has made plans to travel back next Tuesday, and, once again, we will be looking forward to seeing him, and to having his unique contribution to our ministry at this present time. Still and all, Father Antony and myself will be watching the news from Wales on a daily basis in the hope that nothing untoward occurs to strand him in Merthyr Tydfil once again.
So, as always: protect yourselves and your loved ones, and protect Christ in your lives.