I'll be trying a new initiative with this blog - posting from my work as a chaplain. So to begin I am in my little office with a free period because a third year has just asked could she move her spot to last period. A first year I was expecting has not yet turned up. Therefore I am free.
One never knows who will walk through my door or what problem they carry. It takes time to build up the relationship and the level of trust. Clerical child abuse, on top of all the other pain it has caused, has done so much damage to the image of the priest that we are all suspects in someone's eyes. At least now the boundaries are clear to everyone.
It was good to hear the Holy Father reinterating our pain and shame over what has been done and urging the bishops to make care of the victims of abuse our principle act of reparation. Working with teenagers one sees that life can inflict so much suffering on the young. Thanks be to God this school works hard to provide a high level of care and support.
On a lighter note the one thing that made a deep impression on me was the silence after communion in Westminster Cathedral. TV doesn't do silence very well. It likes action, movement and noise. The stillness in that great church with the Pope sitting surrounded by his clergy and people in silent prayer was very striking. It brought home to me the need to cultivate that silence at the Masses I celebrate. After all when one has just received God what ought one to do but sit and listen?