SORRY FOR MY ABSENCE
A number of blog readers have been in touch to register their noticing that I have been absent from blogging for a few weeks.
And so I have - my apologies.
WHERE WAS I?
Well for the last few weeks in September I was caught up in a matter that I cannot speak about just now - but will blog on at a future date in the not too distant future when the circumstances are right.
I then had my annual holiday from October 4th to 18th. I generally take a break in October as it is a quiet time for weddings and I am very busy celebrating weddings from Easter until the end of September each year.
This year I spent 14 days in Mallorca. It is the first time I have been there and I was very impressed with the island. Thankfully the weather was a very nice 24 - 28 degrees for the 14 days.
I stayed in a very pleasant 3* hotel in the Santa Ponza area and had a lovely view from the balcony over the hotel swimming pool and the bay.
I am not a sun worshipper that likes lying in the sun. The days were filled with sight-seeing (by foot and hired car) exploring, an odd beer in the shade and dinner was a mixture of cooking in the apartment and eating out - very inexpensively, I might add. In Spain General Franco introduced the "Menu Del Dia" many decades ago so that poor people might be able to east out if necessary. A three course Menu Del Dia is available throughout Spain for 8 or 8 Euros per day - £ 6 / £7.
The cathedral in Palma in Mallorca is a magnificent building:
I attended evening Mass at the cathedral on Sunday October 6th. I was sitting in the front seat waiting for Mass to begin when an elderly German man with a Hitler-like attitude ordered me out of my seat announcing that he was a "friend of the sacristan". I told him to get lost as I was " a friend of God's" :-)
On one day we took a trip up the west coast of Mallorca to town likes Deia and Soller. Deia is the local millionaire's row and people like Andrew Lloyd Webber have expensive villas there.
On my second Sunday in Mallorca I travelled to the Mallorcan national place of pilgrimage in the north of the island - Lluc Monastery.
It had been founded by the Augustinian monks but is now in the control of another non monastic Catholic religious order:
I wanted to celebrate my Sunday Mass there. But believe it or not - on a Sunday - none of the priests or brothers were available to assist me!
There were plenty of people there selling wine, bread, cheese, meats, souvenirs etc. A friend commented:
"It's more like a theme park than a spiritual place of pilgrimage !!!
In any event I begged a crust of bread from the bread man and a thimble-full of wine from the wine man and sat in the back seat of the basilica and celebrated Mass quietly for my family, friends and intentions.
AND NOW ???
I came back from my holidays refreshed and ready to head into the fray for another year.
I have various challenged ahead - even in the very near future - but more about that in future blogs.
Bishop Pat Buckley