Sunday, June 2, 2013

I'm liking Sunday nights

On my way back from Mass, I ran into several interesting people. A Jordanian man, who is closing up his business, gave me some food for the Jesuit community. He is sad to close his shop and is tired from the many ways his employees have taken advantage of him.

All the storekeepers were standing outside as it was too hot to remain indoors. I'm recognized by many so we have a little chat as best we can. I saw a young teenage boy in his mother's shop. They sell Dead Sea products. After a while, she told me her sister has cancer and needs treatments. Fortunately, I could direct her to the Arabic-speaking priest. However, I gave them a loaf of bread and they were very happy.

I stopped by to see my barber who was busy with a customer. He was napping in his chair as I walked up to Mass. After a few mismatched word exchanges, I was on my way. He was beaming about the visit.

I had a chance to greet other neighbors and I had lovely exchanges with parishioners. It is a most diverse group of people who weekly assemble for Mass. I get little bits of information about how they are doing; and we have the usual rounds of confession before liturgy. Most are happy for the brief exchanges and they seem to wish it could be longer.

The parish seems to be rolling. Baptismal and wedding preps are going on and people are finally asking for the procedures of the parish. Today, I had my two usual visits that go like this, "Father, I have a friend who has a friend who wants me to ask you......"

Basta! Enough! Halas! Tell your friend to call me.

I'm still amazed that arranged marriages continue. One woman today told me her marriage was just arranged two weeks ago. An Iraqi friend of ours just went back to Baghdad to collect a new wife. They are very happy.

Yesterday, I found myself with lots of free time. I planned to dedicate it to some parish work, but I kept getting notices from friends to Skype. I spent hours doing that and I enjoyed it so much. It is just like talking to the person in his or her living room. I got no work done!

Today was likewise leisurely. After my late morning Mass, I went with some of the choir members to Gerard's Ice Cream in Abdoun Circle. This is Jordan's best ice cream. To my amazement, four of them  had vanilla ice cream. Forty-five flavors are sold, but they got vanilla. I told them, "Boring." Meanwhile, I had a double-scoop of Apple Tree Frozen Yogurt. I tried to order one scoop of mango-strawberry and one of Apple Tree, but language most often prevents you from getting what you order. They try their best. The Filipina were very surprised when people I know came by to say hello and to shake my hands.

So, with the day coming to a close, I'm going to paint. One of my artist friends from California really encouraged me to paint every day and to develop my artwork. I was honored by his words.

One parishioner gave me some summer linen loafers today. He paid for them and wouldn't let me reimburse him. I made mention of his dazzling red shoes last week and he wanted me to have the same pair. I felt so honored by his generosity.

Another person called to ask me for prayers for a particular intention. Once she finished, she broke down in relief and told me that she was so glad I came to Jordan.

Our cook, who knows I like jigsaw puzzles, saw that I had about 25 pieces left to place into the frame. I showed him how to do it a few months ago and it bewildered him. Before I left for Mass this morning, he showed me that he finished it for me. He was beaming because he was so proud. I love it.


  1. This is such a touching post because it is all about the connections that you are making with your people - that is the true gospel. Thank you for sharing these lovely stories.

    1. Thanks, Lynda. I enjoyed the night because of so many good people around me.

  2. I enjoyed reading your post. I admire your generous spirit and heart to go where the Lord and Jesuits send you! It is uplifing to hear how you are embracing the people and how happy and grateful they are to have you among them. It reminds me to slow down, reflect and appreciate the people and community that the Lord has blessed me with in my life.

    Also thanks for the pictures. They are breathtaking.

    Peace and prayers

    1. Thanks, Mary. The heart of a Jesuit is reserved for availability for mission. I hope my heart is always open to that. Yes, the people around us can teach us much about God. Many thanks, Mary.