A little bit of everything

Former editor of The Far East magazine, Fr Gary Walker, shares some challenges of life in the Columban house in Brisbane.

Photo: canva.com

Photo: canva.com

We have had a lot of rain lately which I didn’t realise until it really fell from the heavens and didn’t stop. So water ran down a path from the clothesline and right into the laundry which has had a fair soaking with the floor littered with leaves, mud and debris. It then overflowed into the garage after sustained heavy showers and I guess now I am going to have to clean it up.

The frog, or is it a toad? Is still here and I saw it sheltering in the laundry but I didn’t kill it in case it was a frog. The mosquitoes are very bad at present because of the rain and have found their way into the house through holes in the protective screens. It seems the magpies have done the damage pecking through the gauze. They continually fight for their territory with the Indian mynah birds. 

I am learning a lot. 

I have been continuing to supply Mass for parishes around the deanery. One woman picked me up on liturgical irregularities, which have crept into my performance, and waved a large liturgical book at me to back up her statement. I didn’t argue but humbly agreed with her deep insights into liturgy. “The book says!” No retaliation or desire for revenge from me so far which means I am must be becoming more perfect. 

A woman last night said, “I had given a belter of a homily.” I am not sure what that means! She ordered me to sing the acclamation before the Great Amen because the parish priest does it. Of course, I did it. No violence from me towards the people of God!

I was late for Mass yesterday morning thinking it was a 9:30 am Mass instead of 9:00 am one. But I had them out by 10:00 am after a 9:25 am start. Some people were irritable. I presume I had messed up their schedule. At least I arrived. 

A few weeks back I was unaware that I had Mass at another parish. The young priest sent me a schedule by text which I did not receive, or to give him his due, did not find on my phone. He hasn’t asked me again but he will when times get tough.

I don’t have a lot to do at the moment due to self-isolation but I have been asked to write some articles for The Far East magazine and the Columban website and I agreed. Now that I am in my 75th year, it might be a good time to write about some issues that have always grabbed my attention. 

Columban Fr Gary Walker is currently living at the Columban house in Sandgate, Brisbane.

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Annual subscription to The Far East magazine, published by St Columbans Mission Society 8 times per year. It features mission articles and photographs by Columban Missionaries from the countries where they work.


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