Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday update

I am happy to say that I just used my IPad during my homily this morning. Since I could not print my notes which always come so handy as a lifesaver during my Masses, I was able to successfully used the IPad, scrolling down and up my notes with a flip of a finger. My homily was of course in Maltese, as I recollected the image of the Good Shepherd while praying for vocations, which thankfully are still very healthy in Malta.

The 50th anniversary Mass for my first pastor Fr John Galea went very well with 25 priests concelebrating the High Mass, complete with orchestra and chorus, performing the Maltese composer Carlo Diacono's Mass. Fr John is a great lover of sacred music, having conducted this Mass many times himself as a director, but this time he was the main celebrant, and all the performers participated as if giving him a gift, without being paid. In the name of my family, I spoke for 7 minutes towards the end of the Mass, recollecting happy memories of my first 4 years as a priest as his assistant (1977-1981,) and my earlier years as an altar boy and seminarian in the 1960s and early 70s.

I am also helping my sister-in-law Maria with her thesis on holy water fonts or spouts in Maltese churches. She is studying for the degree as Bachelor of Art History, and my job is to follow her and take pictures of various fonts, while measuring them and cataloging them correctly. While visiting these churches I am of course adding to my collection of sacred art photos, and since there are so many churches within walking distance, it's pretty easy to move from one to the other without wasting much time driving.

On Monday we plan to visit the island of Gozo, where Maria grew up, 5 miles northwest of Malta, and there are a handful of old churches there too. My two sisters will also accompany us on our trip and so I plan to do a lot of listening while they do the talking and the chatting. The temperatures are warming up slightly in Malta, but it's still pretty comfortable. Plenty of tourists invade our island all year round, but the biggest problem facing the natives is parking a car. There are more cars than people, and the only other thing that surpasses the number of cars in proportion to the people are cell-phones! Sometimes I feel that even dogs and cats carry a cell-phone around. And I have no doubt that I am the only human without a cell-phone in Malta right now, and probably on the entire planet. But I treasure my IPad and IPod. A neighbor of ours must have a WiFi connection, because I can also connect to the Internet, and that's how I'm sending these messages onto my blog. Stay tuned, more to come over the next few days.

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