Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On the go . . . . .

This is certainly a working holiday for me, more working than holiday for sure. I spent all day Monday visiting churches with my sisters and sister-in-law Maria who is working on a thesis on holy water fonts in Maltese churches. I have known and visited most of these churches, but after every visit, you always notice something new, something that you may have missed in the past. Maltese churches are very rich in their decorations, paintings, architecture and vestments. People love their churches, and truly consider them like their second homes. Since I know most of the priests, it's easy to access them, especially if we go when they are open, early and mid-morning and late  afternoon. Since most of the priests know me from the religious articles I've been writing in a Maltese Catholic newspaper for the 25 years, as well as my past Seminary years, they consider it an honor seeing me visit their church. I'm no big shot of course, but Maltese people consider their countrymen and women who live abroad as special and somehow sprinkled with a different 'flavor.' And  the longer you are away from your homeland, the more you tend to appreciate the food, the culture, the music, the every-changing face of the media, and so much more.

However I don't miss the bumper to bumper traffic, the ongoing building boom, with dusty roads, cranes ruining the scenic and picturesque skyline, and high-risers going up wherever you look. Since Malta is only 18 miles by 8 miles, there is no room for building, other than ruining the little countryside that is left, and which is protected by law. And so unfair permissions are given for 10 to 20 storey buildings to rise and shine, apartments, hotels and residences, in particular apartments for newly-married couples, as well as foreigners who decide to settle in Malta.

Ahead for me are a PowerPoint presentation on my life in Oregon, complete with over 100 of my best nature photos, which I am presenting on Thursday to a group of women, of which my sisters are a part of, similar to the Altar Society. I am sure there will be a lot of ooohs and aaahs when they see photos of bald eagles, quails, snow-capped mountains, deer and elk, as well as my Cathedral parish, besides the events we organize at Baker City. Friday I'll be saying Mass at the Institute of Tourism Studies, where my sister Rosemarie works, and since it is the first Friday of May, many work places organize a monthly Mass. Later in the day my brother Marcel will treat me to a concert at the local Opera house, featuring Tchaikovsky's 2nd Piano Concerto and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, two great classical music selections. And between visiting relatives, friends and helping out at my parish church with Masses and confessions, I keep myself busy and pretty occupied. I am happy to help my sister-in-law with her art project, although I cannot say the same with helping my two nephews who also have their finals coming up - their subjects range from Physics to Obstetrics and Gynecology, from Chemistry to English, from Neurology to Pediatrics. A year from now, Julian Jr will be graduating as a doctor, and Peter will start Medical school in September.
Stay tuned - more to come, probably over the weekend.

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