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9th October 2009

The week and weekend were busy. I had a the long distance outstation, Nzvimbe, on Friday. While the road was not in bad condition, it is a long distance of round trip 160km(100miles). The little community is growing. I took out five bags of cement to try and complete the screed floor of the church. Another eleven bags will be needed and I’ll have to get them out before the rainy season. Besides the cement I gave a lift to people who live a long distance from the church.On the return journey, I visited three sick or elderly people who were not able to travel. The presence of some of the parishioners who lead a hymn or say spontaneous prayers always enhances the celebration of the three sacraments of penance/reconciliation, sacrament of the sick and holy communion. It was early to bed on Friday night. I had a local outstation on Saturday, 25km out of town. It was a nice celebration with a lively congregation.

The participants for confirmation gathered in St. Joseph’s on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The locals had finished the painting of the church in time. The end product was not exactly as I had planned. I ordered cream paint from the shop. As they did not have cream they gave me a tint to mix with white , which looks more like a yellow than cream. At least it has a fresh look.The bishop arrived for evening meal on Saturday. We called him at 6,30 on Sunday morning but he was slow in moving. The Mass at St. Joseph’s due to start at 8.00am got under way at 8.45. There were one hundred and forty for confirmation. The ceremony ended at 1.00pm.

The bishop wandered all over the place in his homily. He could have taken to heart the reading from the Prayer of the Church for the 27th Sunday by Pope Gregory the Great from the sixth century, which ran as follows:”A religious leader should be careful in deciding when to remain silent and be sure to say something useful when deciding to speak.In this way he will avoid saying things that would be better not said, or leaving unsaid things that ought to be said “I celebrated Eucharist for a small congregation in St. Simon’s and then made my way to St.Andrew’s about 25/30km out of town. Part of the dirt road is in the worst condition that I have seen it over eight years.I collected the baggage (they bring food,sleeping attire and eating utensils) for the confirmation group and dropped it off at the church. As there is no public transport, the young folk had to walk both ways, 50km. On the return journey I gave a lift to an old couple who walk for one a half hours to church. The man is eighty six years old. Gentle and grateful people. A privilege to minister to them.

Computer problems are ongoing. Inability to connect plus the added frustration of a virus. To send and receive I have to go to Zol office in Mutare.It is now Friday Oct.9th. I had Mass at the school this morning at 7.00am. The children sang “Early in the morning I will think of you, O Lord”.They have great energy.Sea of Stars got plenty of publicity on the World News, having won the major classics concluding with the Arc de Triumphe in Paris. I hope he will run in the US and win another major event, the Breeders Cup.Zimbabwe is returning to the World News. Mugabe got some publicity while at the UN and seems to be moving towards a more conciliatory tone to the West. Chinamasa, the Minister for Justice, was interviewed by BBC. Of course both blame the sanctions for the state of the country. ZANU PF still hold the important ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs, charge of the army and police not to mention Governor of the Central Bank. However, a US official confirmed that aid from his government now goes through the NGO’S. That rankles with the head of the Bank. An MDC member is Minister for Finance.Love and best wishes to all