Mt. St. Mary’s,
P.O. Box 43,
Sat. 1st June ‘74.
Dear Mum & Dad,
I had a very enjoyable & profitable week at Massey. Fr. Pat Devlin was there doing Geography II, & is very well. I came back last Sunday afternoon, after spending all day at Massey using the library while I had the chance. There wasn’t much time during the week for using the library. We started lectures at 9 in the morning, had an hour off for lunch at 12, & had more lectures from 1 to 5 p.m. Sometimes we would start again at 6.30 & go until about 9 p.m. They try to cram as much in during the week as possible.
I was staying in “Rehab B”, which were old buildings used after the 2nd World War to rehabilitate some soldiers. I was sharing a room with a full-time student who is a St. Bede’s Old Boy. The food was very good too. The whole lot cost $21.50 for 7 days – including meals & board & lectures etc., so it was fairly good. Most of the hostels are on campus & have single rooms. The modern ones are very well designed & very comfortable, but I found it very enjoyable sharing a room for a week.
On the Friday evening I went into Palmerston with Tim McCann (who was also down there doing Geography II), & we went to see Murray Cox who used to be in our band. He is training as a male nurse in Palmerston.
I got my 2nd Assignment back the other day with a C Pass. My first assignment I got a B- pass. The two tests I sat while down there I did OK in. The first I got a B-, & the 2nd I got 24 out of 50 (20 was a pass). All of this goes towards marks for the final exams at the end of the year.
Quite a few changes had gone on at the Mount while I was away! The lawn in front of the house has been half dug up. They are widening the drive around it. Before it was like this:-
The other change was an announcement made by Fr. Connolly. Diaconate used to be conferred round about Easter for those coming up for Ordination. Now it will be conferred about November of each year. So I’ll be a Deacon the next time I come home for the Christmas Holidays. That means I’ll be wearing clericals!! The job of the deacon is to assist the priest at Mass, preach, baptize, marry, take communion to the sick, etc. & he can even bless food! However, it doesn’t mean to say I will be allowed to do any of these things. Even though I will be a Deacon you still need faculties from the Bishop to do these things, & it may be that it is not desirable to grant the permission for students on holiday. But from November onwards we will be doing the above jobs in the seminary. Normally you don’t start doing these jobs outside until after ordination & several month of pastoral training in Christchurch.
I suppose you have shifted into you new home by now. I am looking forward to seeing it – in my clericals!
Well I must sign off now.