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25th October 2009

Greetings from Rusape!

I’m not sure if my recent messages have reached you because of difficulties with the system.

After a busy week in Kriste Mambo, I had an easy weekend with only one Mass on Sunday at St.Bernard’s. The little galvanised roofed church is built on sheer rock and is very hot. After mass, I visited the old man, Ambrose, celebrated the sacraments with him and a few parishioners and promised to take him to Rusape for his blood sample on Tuesday morning. The medication which I got him a few weeks ago reduced the pain.I had a leisurely drive to Mutare in the late afternoon. Monday was cool by recent standards and pleasant for golf.

When I went to Zol office to download emails etc, I was informed that they now had vouchers -$5.00 for one hour. I made a strong complaint about the quality of their service, that I could not access their computer from the Priory in Mutare or Rusape. I’m now working off a different system, eco- web, but with the same address.Hopefully this will be an improvement.

I had class with the prenovices on Wed am. On the way I met a small truck with a trailer laden down with long poles. On my return journey, the truck, trailer and poles were in a heap on the side of the road. One of the brethren witnessed the accident. The trailer became detached from the truck, which turned over scattering the poles in the ditch. The truck ended up on its roof. My confrere and a few passers-by used the poles to lift the truck and get the people out. The three were shaken and bruised but no serious injuries. Road accidents are very common here.

The roofer, plumber and plasterer were busy working on the toilet block. Requests for various bits and pieces were coming on a regular basis. The women were like bees cleaning the hive, getting the church and hall in order.

Frs. Kilmurray and Troy arrived on Thursday. They have a busy week ahead of them.The plasterer worked until 2.00am on Thursday morning and arrived back at 6.00am to complete his task.

Fr Desmond spent two days getting through the red tape with police re: killing and transport of two cattle from Nyanga to Rusape.The police often delay things in order to get a back hand or tip. One could not describe the killing of the animals as humane. The men worked on putting the army tents in place on Friday, while the women did the floral decorations. As sundown approached the sound of the sledge hammer on the steel posts rang through the house. Seating and tables from other institutions had to be ferried to the church grounds. The bishop arrived for supper on Friday evening. It was good to have him on location.

The outer gate opened at 5.00am to allow the women in to start cooking and the men to put the finishing touches on the tents, outdoor altar and seating. The brethren and people gathered. The ordination procession began at 10.00am with about fifty priests, while the choir and congregation sang to their hearts content. By noon the heat was almost overpowering.

The perspiration rolled off Wiseman and Joseph as they stood or sat in the full glare of the sun. About two thousand people attended the first ordination ceremony in Rusape. After the four hour ceremony, the people were fed with meat(chicken and beef) rice, sadza, and a soft drink. There was consensus that it was a great day for the parish. A beautiful celebration followed by good food and plenty of it. The choir dressed in new uniform, for the occasion,excelled.

I presented Wiseman with a chalice I had received from a family named Dougherty in New Jersey three years ago while doing Mission Appeal. The chalice had been used for the first time in the ordination ceremony.

Love and best wishes.