Welcome to my first blog post. I know you’ve all been deeply missing my blogging, seeing as Ireland hasn’t afforded me much opportunity to keep up my online posts (The Restless Heart and A Year with the Simpsons). But here is my debut, and you’re all very welcome to the blog!
We are asked on a semi-daily basis, even over three weeks after arriving, if we’re all settled in. The answer is definitively yes. Our house is definitely our home now, and we can all go out on our own to do errands or take a run without fear of getting lost.
We are doing our best to resist the antsy-ness of having less work and tasks than were accustomed to, but I certainly welcome the beginnings of a daily routine that keep me out and about until the late afternoon. Tuesday and Wednesday were the first nearly busy days of our time here as we begin to get into the swing of things.
As the Catholic Church in Ireland, including Clonard Parish, is now a full week into using the new mass translation, we have been working on researching the new words of the mass to help explain the benefits of these changes. We will be distilling our explanations down into short bits to show on the powerpoint projector as people enter the church, so they can learn about the changes as they wait for mass to begin. The notes will also appear in the Church newsletter. Even more exciting, we needed to be ready to record our newfound insights on Wednesday afternoon for a radio show!
Tuesday, as Kurt, Molly, and I continued our study of the new words, Jess – whose day off it was – told us that the Garda called and could take us at the station that afternoon to complete the visa process. So we paused our preparations until Wednesday and went down to town with Jess to get our cards printed. We are officially allowed to stay in the country!
On Wednesday, we came back to the office from rosary, mass, and tea to clean up the outlines we had been making so we had good working scripts to use for the radio show we’d record that afternoon. Jess chose some music to supplement our short talks and organized our work into two half-hour shows. Fr. James Murphy, the priest working with us from Christian Media Trust and Southeast Radio, came to the office at 1pm to review our preparations and took us to the studio shortly thereafter. After about an hour-and-a-half of on-air conversation with Fr. James as moderator and some work by our sound-man, we had two half-hour radio programs about the new mass. They will air at 8:30-9:00pm Ireland time (3:30 eastern/2:30 central) on Sunday September 18 and 25. Tune in to Southeast Radio online to listen to our work!
Also on Wednesday night, we had our first rehearsal with our choir for Vigil mass. Jess will direct the choir with Molly playing piano, and Kurt will have his world premiere this Saturday night as cantor (or mantor, if you will). We get to plan the music for this liturgy, and it is a delight to be joined by a few folks from the parish to sing the music we are trying to share. We will also be joining the Folk Group tonight for its first official rehearsal since summer break to prepare for 11:15 mass on Sunday.
Kurt and Jess have another meeting with Scoil Mhuire today, and Molly and I will be attending Kennedy Park’s first all-school mass on Tuesday. Also, we have confirmation of our first visitor – Colin coming from Spain! – and hope for a few more waiting on grants from Notre Dame. Thanks for reading and God bless!