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Archive for the ‘Fr Macken’ Category

Sometimes a bright sunny morning just has more to it then those wonders. You get a feeling that something great  could happen, and that certainly seemed to be the case this morning. Only two days ago the call came through. Fr Macken couldn’t sleep, his days were all jittery and he tried to avoid telling anyone why he was so excited. Now the morning had come and he stood at the front door of the church, slowly swaying from side to side, not trying to be too obvious. He struggled so hard to try and conceal a smile and watched down the hill of the village as he saw them gradually make there way up the street.

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The Other Church

Father Macken stood at the edge of the path opposite the building. He felt like he had been standing there for an hour but in reality no doubt it was minutes.

He slowly stepped onto the street glancing each way, all was clear, although the fact was that tractors moved reasonably slowly and the noise they made would give more than sufficient warning of an impending impact. It was gradual progress that finally delivered him to the other side and he could now hear voices coming from inside. But he wasn’t listening to what was being said.

The words going through his mind were those of his old mentor. They had haunted him since he had been ordained and he had always ignored them.

“If you want to get to know the congregation that come to your Church on a Sunday Morning, you’ll need to go to theirs on a Sunday afternoon.”

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The Confessional

Sitting in the middle compartment of the confessional, Fr Macken would often take the few moments of darkness and silence to relax, and think of nice things. For this hour, he had total control over the amount of time a parishioner could have access to him, and he felt guilty to admit that he enjoyed that feeling. There had been three people kneeling in the pews as he approached, they would have to wait until he switched on his light, he smiled. As he did so he heard a shuffling sound from outside and could tell it was growing closer. He looked at the switch for his outside light to show he was ready, no, definitely off. There was some frantic louder whisper noises and a grunt in reply. Suddenly the door to one of the other compartments was yanked open and someone struggled to get it. The confessional swayed slightly as the queue jumper tried to turn and get settled, finally pulling the door closed and falling into the seat with a thud.

“Jayzuz,” came the muffled sound behind the screen, “can’t see a bleedin thing.”

There was a tapping sound on the small sliding hatch, “Here, are you there Father? Open up and give us a bit of light will ye?”

One great advantage of the darkness was Fr Macken could use any face he wanted, and he had his best scowl on now. He reached up and slowly slid back the small panel concealing the mesh between the compartments.

As he did so he heard what he could only describe as a long loud and very effective impression of a trombone.

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“Have you seen it?” She shouted. “Well?” “Have you seen it. A disgrace. Well?”

Father Macken looked at her. “Sorry Mrs O’Reilly, seen what?”

“It’s a disgrace I tell you, shouldn’t be allowed. You should do something about it, I can’t believe it. How did you let that go on here?” she said as she took off at an unusually fast pace towards the coffee shop, timing her arrival as normal with the rest of the retired ladies in the area.

He stood a moment wondering what the issue was and then suddenly felt himself propelled forward, impacted by a man in a rush wearing a cap.

“Oh, sorry Father. Didn’t see you there! The bend’s not the best place to hang around, if you know what I mean?”

“Mr Flavin. Is everything alright?”

“Oh it is Father, I’m just a bit late, see, it’s 11, I should be there at 11.”

Father Macken watched as the normally somewhat arthritic Pa Flavin meandered his way up the hill and disappeared around the entrance to the church on towards the centre. It was a beautiful day, quiet and peaceful besides the two sudden interruptions he had had. To the right was the hill, to the left the way to the stream in the park. He was feeling lazy, and turned left.

There’s no great effort anywhere in the village, just not that big. This time of day people were working, sleeping, gossiping or doing nothing, which was probably the worst of them all. After getting his ass smacked by the powerfully sprung wooden gate to the park, he sat on the nearest bench and sighed, perfect. (more…)

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“Father?”

The old short woman said politely and waited.

“Father?” this time a little louder. Her folded arms tensing a little.

“Father!” she shouted, brow furrowed, lips now pursed concealing clenched teeth.

“What?, what? what’s wrong?” the priest jumped to his feet knocking over the pew he was kneeling at.

“I’ve been calling you Father Macken, the Butler’s here to see you.”

“Oh Mrs Sullivan, em, I was in the middle of my Divine Office”

The old lady looked at him, then slowly moved her head to the left and her eyes even further, then back.

“We’re in the Church, Father.”

“My Devine Office, part of my daily prayers. It’s a time, several times a day, when I have solitude and can pray direct to God. Didn’t Father Cullen perform Devine Office during the day?”

She shrugged her shoulders and started to turn away.

“Hhhm!, We were lucky if Father Cullen managed to perform Mass,” she said as she started to move back towards the sacristy. (more…)

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