A day in the life of a diocesan priest.
All over the country today students and workers have been rejoicing at the week’s end: “Thank God it’s Friday”. It is just after 9pm and I have a few moments ago arrived back home to Hawarden after a full and satisfying day.
Early this morning I hit the road for Waiau, then across to Cheviot for a few visits including to the rest home. It is always a pleasure to visit the staff and elderly residents. The Cheviot rest home has a homely family atmosphere and I often joke that I would like to book a room – but I say the same thing at Waikari hospital / rest home where I could also happily spend a long retirement.
After Cheviot I drove down to Amberley for a late lunch with two friends, one visiting from China. The company and conversation was inspiring.
Then it was back up to Culverden for dinner with new parishioners in the heart of the Amuri plains, surrounded by the hills that change in colour and shadow throughout the day, and especially as I was leaving their home when I stopped the car twice in five minutes to catch these two snaps of the rapidly changing sky at dusk.
The last event of the day was the praying of the Rosary with the Filipino community who gather every night in October for the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and dinner with great conversation. The Filipino community in the parish, who often make up 50% of our total parish Sunday Mass count, have little idea of the great gift they are to our parish as they bring their youthful energy, breadth of vision, and robust Catholic faith to the Hurunui.
I have eaten too much today as parishioners fed me with good food. Of course it would have been impolite to refuse their hospitality, and as a result have eaten brunch, lunch 1, lunch 2, dinner 1 and dinner 2. Five good meals. I am now sitting at home and am doing my best to redress the food / drink imbalance with a glass of wine.