I finished of sorting out my holiday yesterday, I very rarely get a Sunday off, or as one of my parishioners said, "...we very rarely have a Sunday without you". When I was an assistant priest I always enjoyed the parish priest's holidays more than mine.
First of all I am going to Verona for a week, with friends for the Opera Festival, and then down to Rome for Aaron Spinnelli's ordination to the diaconate, that should be fun, a cohort of my favourite priests of the diocese will in Rome for the event all staying at the Domus Paulus, near the Piazza Novona.
I have known Aaron for years, he has always shown a remarkable maturity, I so was pleased when he was accepted by the diocese and began his studies in Rome, remember in him in your prayers in the month leading up to his ordination.
I always say Mass and hear confessions on weekdays and yesterday there was a little queue for confessions, but no-one went into the box, so I went outside to find out what was the matter, there were three people there who I thought were South Americans, one of the women was obviously blind. I asked what they wanted, "We want a shower", said the other woman. I thought I misunderstood, or this was a euphemism for the cleansing lather of the of the, "second baptism". But I discovered they spoke Spanish. Fortunately, Sr Joan, who had founded schools in Venuzuala and I should think had quelled a gang or two of drug dealers, and then started a day centre for the homeless in Brighton, was able to translate. In our multi-cultural society I have a number of people, who knowing the dire consequences of breaking the seal of confession, occasionally act as translators.
They did indeed want a shower, one of our parishioners took them down to the former church that is now a centre for the homeless.
They were Romanians, who had been living in Spain, for the last few days they had been living on the street. I presume they were professional beggars.
I spent a bit of the rest of the day looking for a lavatory brush, as one does as a priest, Robert Dyas had one only, for £15, rediculous, after much searching I found one, today, in a ironmongers for £1.45, such an item is like hen's teeth in Brighton.
I heard that at one of the Oratories a lavatory brush kept disappearing, an old priest there went on holiday, the superior decided his room needed a tidy. The lavatory brush was found in his bed. "I get an itch, Father, on my back, it is the only thing I can reach it with!" was the explanation.
(Sorry to be so mundane).