November 2004

Thoughts on the future of Concordia’s theology department

I taught my last lecture this evening. It was the optional lecture, “Theology and You”, my once-per-term attempt to try and point out where the students can go next in their study of theology. Often enough there are students who took the course almost by accident, but discover that theology is actually really interesting! They want to go further, but wonder where — and how.

Funeral for May McCartney

Today I had the honour of presiding the funeral of May McCartney, the aunt of some parishioners. The funeral wasn’t held at the parish, but in a special chapel associated with the historic Mount-Royal Cemetery. I was a bit skittish at first — our Archbishop has asked us not to do funeral masses outside of parish churches — but I was assured that the Archdiocese has authorized the celebration of mass in this particular chapel. It was very nice, and it gave me a chance to chat with some of the family afterwards.

Catching up

Yep, still sick, although without a fever today. But I slept really badly last night, so I’m still generally outta commission today.

Still, with my appointments cancelled, today has been a day of catching up on email. I’m down to 9 left to file, respond to, or just plain delete. So if you’ve been waiting for a reply to something from me, check your inbox…..your prayers may just have been answered!

Should have gone for that flu shot

I’m now home from teaching my class. I haven’t been feeling that well all day, although I must say teaching and intellectual discussion in general really give me fuel to keep going, so I got through it all right. That being said, my level of activity seems to have caught up with me, and I have external evidence: I took my temperature, and the thermometer reads 100° F (37.7° C). Yep, I’m officially sick.

Just in time for winter

My father and I managed to place my trailer on its site at Camping Choisy today. Now all we have to do is get it levelled, and put on the protective tarp, and it’ll be ready for the winter snows. What a saga it has been to get it to this point! But I am so looking forward to using it next year as a poustinia of sorts — just to have a place to get away to will be nice.

Gonna be a busy week…

Another funeral call came in today, meaning I have two this week. It is an honour to do funerals, of course, but I just hope I’ll be able to give 100% to the families involved, as on top of this we have an important meeting of our churchwardens coming up, and I have to prepare a presentation I’m giving Saturday morning in the diocese of Cornwall.

Please pray for me, I’m going to need all the strength I can get. At least I’m taking Wednesday off, to give myself a bit more breathing room.

At least he got +4 to his AC

For those who don’t believe that the life of a priest is full of unusual surprises, here is a new one: today, for our baptismal celebrations, one of the godparents showed up dressed in chainmail armour and wearing a sword.

And in case you are wondering “What does Fr. Tom mean by that?”, I really do mean that he showed up dressed in chainmail armour (more of a chain shirt, actually), with a longsword strapped to his waist. The rest of his outfit was quite medieval as well.

Please pray for a family

I received some awful news today. One of our parishioners, 39 years old, died suddenly, leaving behind his wife and 3 children. He was sick, but was undergoing treatment with high hopes of recovery. I anointed him only a few weeks ago, and you would never have known he wasn’t well.

Questions, questions!

This evening I had the pleasure of visiting one of our parish families for supper, followed by a time of prayer and the blessing of the house. Once the official moment of prayer was over, though, the two children (aged 12 and 8) started to ask questions…and more questions…and more questions! We covered (in no particular order):

Lifestyles of the rich and vacuous

As I mentioned in my blog post from yesterday, I went to the movies last night. While there I picked up a copy of the November 2004 issue of Famous magazine, available for free at the doors, which includes info on upcoming movies and the occasional interview with the stars. I couldn’t help but notice the last page: “10 stars discuss the supernatural”.

Boy, do these people need to take my course. From the not-so-sublime to the oh-my-ridiculous:

Taking a spiritual break

Today I had my monthly meeting with the brother priests in our Jesu Caritas group. Our group has become a bit smaller, as one of our members is off studying on Rome, and another called in sick. But the three of us who did show up are the three who happened to all be in the same year in the seminary. It gave us a chance to share on another level, and to look back on those days.