What stands out for me during this first week of my peregrinations around the diocese as its MOM:
The welcome by involved (church-going) parishioners. Have been welcomed into their homes for dinner. Laundry has been done. Assistance with setting up the motor home has been readily given: connection to water & electricity; availability of a toilet; putting out the awning. Offer to take me shopping. Given the 'rural' faith of this community, none of this is surprising!
Special highlights have been:
The daily morning celebrations of the Eucharist with classes from both St Patrick's & St Joseph's schools present, as well as the Sisters and a few parishioners. Alas, few parents of the school children have availed themselves of this opportunity;
The conversations with those who have come for a chat—either after choosing a time slot on the appointments white board or by phoning using the dedicated MOM no. These have not been many, but I've been struck by the realisation that just one or two of these conversations would have been enough to warrant my visit. It's not about numbers. Grace & healing abounds!
The Guided Prayer for Healing & Mercy appeared to speak to those who came. The sight of the lighted candles which each person had placed around the Mercy Candle—signs of individual's pain, weight, sorrow, disappointment now transformed by encountering the merciful face of God—was, I found, uplifting.