Cutting the ordination cake

Mt. St. Mary’s,

Dear Mum & Dad,

I’m on phone duty tonight, so I’ll write this while I wait for in-coming calls. We take turns in answering the phone every night, & usually you get a turn about once a month. It’s much easier now that we have an internal phone system because you can ring all over the house if anyone is wanted. Before, you spent half the night running around looking for people.

Today I said 2 Masses (& preached) at St. Thomas More’s Parish in Napier (8 a.m. & 10.30 a.m.). Afterwards I had dinner at the Presbytery with Fr. McAloon. He is very well & was interested to catch up on the Waikanae/Paraparaumu news. His curate is away for several months so Tony O’Connor, Rob Devlin & myself rotate on a system in going in to say Masses on Sundays.

Next Wednesday the 7 of us (new priests) are going into Napier to hear children’s 1st Confessions before they make their first Holy Communion.

Last Tuesday, Rob Devlin, Barry Leech & me went to say Mass at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Hastings. Afterwards we anointed 5 of the old men. This sacrament isn’t called “Extreme Unction” anymore but the “Anointing of the Sick”. This is because it is given not only in immediate danger of death, but also periodically to people who are sick or very old. So it was simply a case of the 5 men walking in & sitting in chairs & being anointed.

Tomorrow the Philosophers play the Theologians in Tagg. I’m playing on the wing for the Theologians.

Last night Francis Leasiolagi & I went ratting in the fowl-house with knives and red torches! We killed 17 rats in ½ an hour. Frank got 3 at the same time with the swish of the knife! Of course, we were helped by Elsie the dog who’s very quick to kill a rat – even in the dark.

At the moment I’m regularly practising to touch type, I can type quite fast with two fingers, but it wasn’t good enough, & having an electric typewriter has spurred me on to learn properly. They say it’s quite hard to learn to touch type once you’ve learnt the wrong way, but I seem to be picking it up quite fast.

Fr. Haase comes up from Christchurch next Thursday to give us a 1 ½ week course in Canon Law. We will be having 3 periods a day - & it’s not the most interesting of subjects.

If my writing seems a bit funny (although I think it looks all right!) it’s because I’ve got cuts all over my fingers from pruning a bougainvillea bush. They've got long sharp spikes & I think they might be slightly poisonous at this time of the year too, because my left thumb is a bit swollen. However, I’m sure nothing will come of it!

Well, I think that that’s all the news.

Just remembered… I got a coloured film of 20, & Hilton Rhodes & I made an afternoon of it getting that photo you & the school wanted. We were going to take only 5 of me, but we ended up taking 15, & then the seminary from various angles. So I hope that there’s a good one among them. There’s some of me saying Mass (although it’s only a set up one), standing on the lawn in front of a flowering wattle tree in a red chasuble, etc. They’re getting developed at present so I’ll send them down when I get them back.

Love from

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