Communicating with God: One Person at a Time (Chapter 4, page 2 of 15)


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Chapter 4

After a very late breakfast/lunch [still fasting from midnight before Holy Communion at that time] in the staff room all the newly ordained priests departed with their guests. Gratefully even though with some regrets at leaving friends and a world which had guarded and cocooned one for so long, a structured life which needed little thought and expected even less initiative. And with some dread - although, thankfully, not full awareness - of the future in a parish. Most would have a holiday of some weeks or even months and would then be appointed to a parish or even sent on for further studies. I knew not only where I was going - to Corby, 'Occupation Road', ominously - but also that because of the state of health of the parish priest there I would have to be in place a week after ordination and look forward to a holiday some time in the indeterminate future. A nice touch was the letter from the Bishop hand-written to inform me of this and, on the day of ordination, a telegram of congratulations from the parish priest whom I had never met but to whom I had been appointed as junior curate.

The next week passed quickly enough with my first Mass in Aylesbury parish church on the Sunday and further Masses in convents and surrounding parishes where they had never seen a newly ordained priest 'since the Reformation', as the local paper had it. The embarrassing bit was the custom of people kissing the hands of such a priest after his blessing. After a week or so this gradually stopped and the only thing was to remember to react when someone called you 'Father' since that was a title to which one was not accustomed to respond.

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