When Fr. Tomy got transferred to another parish in Medicine Hat, we had a farewell meeting on a Sunday afternoon.
He would praise me for being an excellent sacristan because he never had to do any work setting up for each Mass.
We were working partners, and I appreciated his style when we celebrated Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the First Friday of each month. He celebrated Mass at 9:00am and I led the songs for the Adoration, did incensing, and responses.
When our new priest, Fr. Thomas, arrived at St. Ambrose, he was delighted when we worked together. I had a serious femur accident in church seven years ago, after confessions and after everyone had gone home.
Luckily, my wife Lydia was with me and called our friends and the EMS. I was off as sacristan for six months.
Fr. Thomas kept coming back to hospital to visit me. When I was well enough to administer church duties I came back to work. We met at Timmy’s for coffee almost every day at 3:00 pm.
While having lunch one day, I also received compliments for a job well done, from the late Deacon Ray, when I sang Psalm 23 at Mike Panic, Sr.’s funeral.
Since March 17th we were not able to worship in person like we used to before the pandemic. Now, we had to mend our ways.
No more sitting close in church, no holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer, singing hymns, and the gospel acclamation. It has been difficult attending Mass with too many restrictions because we had to physical distance, sanitize before entering and after leaving the church proper, and wear face mask all the time.
When the church reached its allowable number of 50 parishioners or less the ushers would lock the doors at 9 a.m. sharp.
We are pleased to celebrate Daily TV Mass on Salt & Light Channel or UTUBE. It is not the same as attending Mass in person, but it is inspiring.
One can participate in the Mass while sitting on your chesterfield in the comfort of your home. One good thing about the daily Mass is that we get to celebrate it with a different priest every day. I liked Fr. Henk, a Jesuit Priest; he always has a joke in his Sermon.
Once again after so many years Fr. Tomy will be transferred to Strathmore, and Fr. Thomas will retire. Farewell to you both. Quoting from one of my poems – “Goodbyes are easier said than done, New friends are not rejected but won, Farewell is like a setting sun, with hope for a new tomorrow at the break of dawn.”
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