Tuesday, 24 October 2017

A day in the life of a 'retired' missionary

Fr. Casimir
I have an eighty-something year old American priest friend who is a 'retired' missionary living in the Mariannhill Monastery Retirement Home for priests and religious in South Africa, Fr. Casimir (Cas) Paulsen c.m.m. He has zillions of friends and fans for whom he publishes a monthly blog. I snipped an extract which you might find interesting.

Saturday, the 21st. was a very interesting day. I was to take a funeral at 11am at the mother church from our branch at Savannah Park. I like to be a bit early just to make sure. I was there by 10:20. I found ladies cleaning the church who knew nothing about a funeral. Hmmmm. The sacristy was open but I couldn’t find any books or hosts or wine or whatever. Eventually I found a chalice and one big host  but there was not water or wine or small host. By this time it was almost 10:45. So I told them I was going back to the Monastery to fetch my things (always have some water and wine and hosts and chalice, etc.) realizing that I should have done that in the first place. By the time I got back it was 5 past eleven and the casket had already been taken into the church. But then, lo and behold, another hearse pitches up and disgorges another casket. Now what. Two funerals. I use my wine and water and holy water because there isn’t any at the parish but, thank God, the catechist is there. So we go to plan B. He know who is in the one casket and I know who is in the other so we just forge ahead. I was proud of our small but powerful choir from Savannah Park. There can never be a service without singing. 
After the Mass, we go to the cemetery. There is no road near the graveside, so the old men have to carry the coffin on a very rough hilly and pot-holey ground for about a football field away.  Some day I will describe how an African is buried, but I will jump over that for now. 
After the filling in of the grave we all go to the house for a meal and to meet some of the family of the deceased. I finally came home late in the afternoon and I am beat.

If you want to read the whole post, here is the link to Fr. Cas. Blog

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