One of the things that anyone contemplating God's call to the secular priesthood ought to understand is all priests waste an incredible amount of time. To be more accurate other people waste his time. The number of people who make an appointment and don't turn up, is annoying but understandable.
This week I put aside time today to visit one of my parishioners in Brighton General Hospital, I got there after 25 minutes on the bus. Surprisingly there was hardly anyone around, I went up to the ward and there were piles of mattresses, curtains pulled down, and nobody there. The ward was closed, a cleaner I met told me. I am glad actually, I always dreaded it when people went in there, they seemed to all get MRSA and eventually die.
I went to reception, asked where the person was, "I don't know, have you tried Newhaven? We don't have any records here."
I telephoned the Hospital in Newhaven three times, twice I was put through to answerphone, only after getting slightly unpleasant did I get put through to someone who was able to tell me where he was. She tried to put me through to him but we cut off instead. An hour travelling, half an hour searching the hospital, 20 minutes on the phone, such is a priests life. So frustrating!