Aug. 10, 2014
What a delightful day. I was asked, at the last minute, to take another Mass at 8:30am last Sunday. I already was going to Savannah Park at 10am but, knowing that African time is very flexible, I agreed. But I didn't know how to get to the place so I asked for someone to show me the way. I would follow
so that I wouldn't get lost. Holy Moses. We went up hill and down dale and around curves and just meandered all over the place till I thought we might just be on the outskirts of Detroit. We finally got there about 8:15 (in Africa that is still more than reasonable). And it was a huge crowd, and very animated and joyful, especially the primary school children. They must have been primed. The singing was marvelous. However, I was a bit nervous because it is the custom to sing all 50 verses of every song, and there are many songs, but I just let loose the reins and let it happen. We enjoyed each other. I would estimate that there were maybe 400 or more people as the church was packed and even some outside, mostly men. The men don't want to risk catching some terrible disease by stepping inside a church you know.
Then, I was shown the way to Mass number two at SP. Maybe 20 people. The choir tried, but there was only a handful of choir members. There was something going on at the mother church and many went up there for that special service. Instead of shaking hands with the little kids at the greeting of peace I just grab a bunch of them and we have a great group hug. I hope that they get the message that they are really and truly loved, not just by me but by the one whom we are celebrating each Sunday, their great friend Jesus.
After that we took communion to two sick members, one a real old gogo (granny) and the other just too sick to go out of the house. They were so grateful to know that the community hasn't forgotten them or written them off. Then we went to Mike's home for bite to eat and a slowing down. Mike's wife is one of those women who have at least 5 over-active thyroids, and she just slipped and banged her right foot against a mean, dirty old steel leg of another machine. And it did some serious damage so she has to wear a boot in the hope that it can heal on it's own. If now, it means an operation. We will wait and see. Her name is Net (short for, I believe, Annette)
Then Mike Pillay, (the same Mike) the leader of this community asked to be dropped off at the mother church to be with those who went for the special service. When we got there and went to the priest's house, I was greeted with shouts and hugs " Fr.Cas, are you still alive!!!" I used to help out there when I was at the retreat house at Mariannhill and got to know them well. We love each other. It was nice.
Then, there is another old gogo whose husband passed away a few years ago and who lives nearby. So I figured that as long as I am so close I may as well drop in and say hi, which I did, and, of course, she was very happy. Any good Zulu Catholic woman won't let you out of the house without food and a blessing. Since I had just come from a full meal, I managed to beg my way out of the food part, and the blessing was fine for me.