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26th February 2010

The media coverage of abuse in Dublin Archdiocese is very painful reading. My weekend plans and ministry were altered due to the death of a Carmelite, Sister Frances in Mutare I celebrated Eucharist at the school on Friday morning.There was a full church. Of course, only the baptized received the ashes. Africans are very interested in ritual. There was a funny incident on SKY News on Ash Wednesday. Joe Biden, Vice President of the US, appeared on TV giving an account of his visits to various parts of the country, including a trip to the Winter Olympics in Canada. There was a black mark on his forehead. The anchor lady and the sports reporter on SKY wondered if he had fallen or had an accident at the Olympics. After the commercial break, the anchor lady, Kay Burley explained that it was Ash Wednesday and that it was the mark of the ashes on his forehead. She confessed to being not a good catholic. Mention of confessing. Tiger did a St.Augustine like confession for his infidelities, transgressions and affairs live on TV.The Irish Times report concluded an editorial ‘a Tiger doesn’t change his stripes’. The prurience of the media was not satisfied because no questions were allowed. I took four Carmelite Sisters to Mutare on Friday after lunch for the all night vigil of their member.I had hoped to play nine holes or at least have a good walk in Hillside.The rain came down heavily and did so all through the night. After the funeral Mass, I made my way to Triashill via Rusape to collect some confraternity women at base. There were three accidents on the 100km stretch of main road, two involving lorries or heavy trucks and one car which had gone off the road into a dike. Every trip is a reminder of how dangerous the roads are here. I say a prayer to my Guardian Angel on every outing. Sunday was an easy day with Mass only at St.Bernard’s. The outstation, where Ambose lives, is a short distance from his home. He was looking great and in good humour. With tears running down his cheeks he said “I am well again.” It was my first time to see him since early January, when he had a check up at Mutare General Hospital. A victim of polio at seven years old, his legs never developed fully . He uses crutches.We celebrated three sacraments in the shade under the eve of the thatched house/round hut and then gave him groceries to do for the month.There were three small steel stools, about the size of the ones we used long ago for milking the cows. We sat, sang and prayed. We had good rains this week. Love and best wishes