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9th February 2012

Greetings from Rusape!

It was a weekend filled with liturgy and sport. An outstation on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A long distance, Nzvimbe, and two local ones about 20km away. Rusape was blessed with about 50mm (2inches) of rain from Wed. to Sunday pm, while some places on either side got none. The rainy season normally continues until mid March. That is important not only for the crops but also for the water table. We live in hope.

I have been preaching on elements of Mark’s gospel for a few weeks so the homily preparation was easy. I had left my notes and Sunday Missal at Clare Farm outstation two weeks ago so it was just as well I had a good grasp of what I wanted to say.

Rugby and soccer dominated the sports viewing at the weekend. The rugby Six Nations got off to a dull start on Saturday with a poor game between England and Scotland. France and Italy provided a little more skill.

Ireland bit the dust against Wales on Sunday pm. The better team won. A past pupil of Terenure sent me the result, of the Senior Cup game, Terenure v. Blackrock: “I thought I would email you on the day of a great Terenure win over Blackrock. The final score was 17-15 but they were a little bit better than that – some wonderful backs and real battling forwards who were on the back foot for the 1st half but got on top in the second. Like 1980! Was a beautiful day for a match and a great crowd for a kick off at 2.30 on a Friday afternoon. Some future stars playing and most of them were 5th years. There were only three 6th years and there was even one from 4th year.

 

I hope all is well with you and that you are keeping up with the news online. I met Fr. Kilmurray and he was surprised when I said my stomach was sick with nerves before the game.

It was good to see some familiar names – Bagnal, Weakliam, Murphy, O’Neill- sons or relations of those who played in the late 70’s and won Senior Cup medals. Perhaps, there’s a cup in this team!

SKY TV informed us of Super Bowl Sunday but our focus was on rugby and soccer.

Monday was a beautiful day for golf, plenty of sun accompanied by a good breeze. We had an enjoyable outing.

I had a sick call to Ziweya outstation on Tuesday pm. The parish chairman approached me on Saturday after Mass but I had no communion left. I promised to be there at 2.30on Tuesday. He was waiting by the roadside. At the church, we picked up three more men and drove a short distance to the homestead. Some of the confraternity women were waiting outside the house. I recognised Clement from church. A small gentle man wasting away with cancer. Nine men packed into the little kitchen or living room while the women sat on the floor at the entrance or outside. Clement understands English. I introduced the ceremony, blessing him with holy water. The men and women sang hymns and said spontaneous prayers of the faithful, while I administered the sacraments. Clement is ready for his final journey supported by the prayers of the community and the church’s sacraments.

Work on the church porches is completed. They look fine and will give protection to the entrance doors as well as to people entering and leaving the church during the rainy season. All that remains is that we put the new doors in place. Another small project completed.

I’m at the lap top early as a rat was chewing on the ceiling board or rafters at 4.30am. He seemed to have great energy. I’ll leave some poison for him today so he can have his last supper.

On the positive side, electricity and water supplies are much improved with only the occasional cut in power.

Looking forward to a better performance from the Irish rugby team this weekend in Paris.

Love and best wishes.