Swamped

I have been absolutely swamped lately. The problem is the conflict between the job at the hospital and my being the only priest here at St. Luke’s while the pastor is away on vacation. Frankly, it’s just too much, especially when you add on weddings, funerals, and the odd conversation that starts out as “Father can I speak to you for 5 minutes?” and winds up ending 45 minutes later. (Every other priest who reads this blog knows what I mean.)

Today, in particular, was a first: I had to cancel the morning mass. My pager went off 15 minutes before mass normally starts, and when I called in the check out the situation I realised I could not take a chance for waiting until the afternoon to go. So, I got up in from of the congregation and told them there was no mass that morning, for the reason just stated. I could tell some people were quite annoyed, but what can you do? I think most people understood, though, and in my experience the parishioners are actually kind of proud that their priest is going to assist the dying in their hour of need — it gives them confidence they might one day receive the same service when they need it, whether for themselves or for someone they love.

It has been just nutty for the last several days, so much so that I sat down in my chair around 5:45 pm (after calling someone to say I’d be over at her home in about 30 minutes) and promptly fell asleep, waking up over an hour later. I guess I needed a break. Please say a prayer for me, as I have a big weekend coming up (the usual service at the hospital, a particularly special wedding, and the entire weekend mass schedule with preaching and presiding 4 masses in two languages).