Coordinating and making the arrangements for the monthly 2nd Sunday Mission of Mercy mass and prayer service is a lot of work. S.C.C. and I both knew this when we took the job over from Bob and Jean Nichols about 6 months ago. Bob and Jean both told us that there are always problems every month that just seem to get worked out at the very last minute and you are left wondering how. They attributed these last minute solutions to the Holy Spirit and today was no exception. This is how it went.
Today officially marks the day that the monthly Mission of Mercy mass has been reinstated. There was a mass last month but it was not publicly announced and the attendance was low. I was not there because I was in Norfolk for my aunt Mildred’s funeral.
The problems began today after S.C.C. and I arrived and it was discovered after talking to several people that some of the regular duties that people perform had not been done. Other duties such as lector for example had been delegated to more than one person and this problem was not discovered until the last minute.
There was also more than one person who thought they would be leading the rosary. These are just two examples, there were plenty more and people were looking to me for solutions. At the height of my anxiety I looked out the window and saw Gianna Sullivan pull up to the front of the church. It was at that instant I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
Up to that point I had felt no peace and was somewhat angry and felt over burdened but now things seemed much better and everything just fell in place and went fine. The prayer service started promptly at 2 pm with most members of the Thursday Night Choir singing Hail Mary, Gentle Woman. Mike Sullivan then led the rosary meditations and I had the first decade. The rosary ended and at the instant I kissed the crucifix I felt strong peace and glanced down at my watch. The time was 2:33:59.
Mass began after the rosary and Fr. M____ was the priest. C.R.C. had served this morning at the 10:30 mass and was now serving again for the Mission of Mercy mass. During mass I never gave the time any consideration whatsoever but at the instant Fr. M___ elevated the host I felt the peace hit me very hard again. I glanced down and the time was 3:13:00. The peace hit again exactly the same way when he elevated the Precious Blood so I glanced at my watch again and it was now 3:13:33.
Mass ended and Ivan P went up to read the monthly Mission of Mercy prayer intentions. Ivan had not been scheduled for this job. He had originally been scheduled to be the lector. At the instant Ivan started to read the prayers I was again struck with a strong feeling of peace as I thought back to the problems before mass began and realizing it was the Holy Spirit that caused everything to work out fine. As this thought crashed through my mind I looked at my watch and the time was 3:33:00.
After the prayer service was over Gianna Sullivan spoke for a few minutes about Mission of Mercy expanding not only around here but also to Louisiana and Texas. After Gianna’s announcements everyone went downstairs to the parish hall for a special dinner and Christmas party. S.C.C. and I remained upstairs and put away all of the Mission of Mercy things and made sure the church was ready for the next mass. S.C.C. then went home and I went down stairs. By the time I got there most all of the food was gone but I just considered it as something to be expected and offered it up. I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
I did manage to scrape up a little and I sat down to eat. While I was eating I became part of a conversation that discussed not having the 2nd Sunday Prayer Service next month because of scheduling conflicts. The public apparition of Our Lady of Emmitsburg had been moved to the 2nd Sunday because the Lynfield Event Complex could not have it on January 1st. As I thought about this conflict I said to myself “God knows what He is doing”. At that instant I felt the peace and glanced down at my watch and the time was 4:33.
During this time Fr. M______ was leading Christmas carols and people were having a very nice time. I would estimate it to be close to 100 people there. When everything was over I helped clean up and when I finished I got in my car to leave. At the instant the car started the CD flashed 13.
I drove to St. Joseph’s because I just wanted to thank God for the reinstatement of the Mission of Mercy mass. I arrived at St. Joseph’s and glanced at my watch just as the car came to a complete stop and it said 6:13:33. I prayed the Sorrowful rosary and looked at my watch just as I finished and the time was now 6:33.R_____ C___
Dec. 18, 2005