Monday 2nd of April, 2001

The following is a transcript of a tape recording I made while travelling in my car. At this time (fifth week of Lent) things were getting busy and I couldn't keep up with my written diary.

It's 6pm and I am on my way to my parents-in-law. The children are there already, Cathy has been at work. Haven’t had the most productive day, I must say that I am feeling rather low at this point. I had a phone call from Peter [Holmes] earlier on today, saying that he was feeling pretty down, but was getting over that as well.

He’d been visiting South Australia for a family wedding, and there had had dinner with the Flemings, and then back again, they had had a rather tumultuous visit to Sue’s family, father and mother, things are not 100% well there, a bit of tension, challenging him as to why he has resigned and not simply taken leave.

Spent a long time today writing a reply to [a fellow pastor] on a Kurt Marquart article on the issue of Papal Infaliibility.

Tomorrow I have an appointment for a [job] interveiw. I put in three job applications last Thursday, one to Vision Australia as their coordinator of volunteers, one to Monash University for document delivery officer hoping to get a job share position, and one to Thomas Mitchell Primary School. They are advertising for a 22.5 hour school librarian’s job, a non teaching position, so the only prerequisite they had was that the applicant was a qualified librarian. So, I popped them in on Thursday.

Actually it was thanks to [a parishioner] that I even knew about the latter one because she rang up and left a message on the phone on Wednesday that she had found this in her local paper, it wasn’t a vacancy that I had found. So, I thought "Awh, what the heck", and I got them to fax through a job description for me, and then I sent off my application. The very next day, Friday, I get a phone call from the principal saying “come in for an interview on Tuesday afternoon”. So that’s all happening tomorrow. I’m not getting my hopes up like I did last time [I had an interview for a position as librarian of a branch of a local public library], I’m not banking one hundred percent on this. I’m glad that I’ve got another interview. I’d be glad to see what comes of it. It would mean that I would be in complete charge of the library there, and one or two technicians who work there as well, so it would be step into library management, even though at a very very low and basic level. It would still be a step ahead of where I have been. It would be nice to get it. 22.5 hours is three days a week which would sit fairly well with my work at our Lady’s. It won’t be a big salary--$10,000 from Our Lady’s and $21 or 22,000 from the this job, but it will put food on the plate, it will pay for rent, Cathy’s also going to Centrelink tomorrow for an interview there, and hopefully with her increased Family Tax benefit [Government payment for families with children] I think that will make a difference to our income over the next period or so, that will be some money extra, even if it is only about $100 a week or so-- that is about $5000 extra, I think, a not inconsiderable amount of money.

We’ve been looking around at houses, setting our sights at around the $160-$180 per week mark max, I don’t think we will be able to afford much more than that, but there aren’t a lot of three-bedroom houses around for that sort of money. Still, as I say, the parish has allowed us to stay in the manse until the end of June. I imagine that if I were to get this job at Thomas Mitchell, that would mean that I would be starting at the begining of 2nd Term, straight after Easter. Of course, it would be embarrasing if that happened, because then I would have to ring up John Kleinig and tell him that after all this hoo-hah that has gone on about the worship resources that I'm not going to be able to do it for them after all, but that was always the original agreement, and if they have changed their minds now, if they hadn’t gone and changed their minds on me we wouldn’t have had to make any fuss. Anyway, we will just have to wait and see what comes of that.

I went to mass last Saturday [at Ringwood], but I didn’t stop to talk to Greg afterward, just in and out. It turned into quite a big day then. Coming home, I still had to get the service order and sermon done for Sunday, then we took the girls swimming, back home we got ready for the wedding, which I did up at Martin Luther Homes, probably my last wedding, and then we came home and went off straight down to Packenham where we had the Casey farewell. I did my last service at Casey yesterday. It wasn’t a highly emotional event for me, but I think that at the end when [one member] got up to say thank you for all the work I had done, that I got close to tears then...

But--oh, I am getting tired of this, I really am, I want it to end, I want the responsibility for it to end. This week of course, first communions at Knox and confirmations at Frankston, service in both places for Palm Sunday, a big event, but afterwards it will be finished, and I will be able to say “Here endeth the lesson.”

Yeah. I think I am looking forward to the time afterwards.

I’m glad, I’m really glad that I’ve got the job at Our Lady’s. It will be chance to settle a bit. And if I don’t get the job at Thomas Mitchell, well, I’ve still got the Worship Resources stuff to go on with. So a little window of opportunity. And [the head elder at Frankston] spoke to me again after church at Frankston on Sunday and re-iterated that any time I needed work just to let him know and they would make some space for me [at his factory], which is really great.

So I’m not worried about it a lot. I rang Dad on Sunday night just to let him know where things were at. Mum has not been 100 percent well following her operation down in Adeliade. There’s no need to worry at this point.

I am a bit worried about the anullment thing. Am I worried? Is that right, or not? I rang the Tribunal on Thursday or Friday just to check up on where things are at--apparently, [a couple of my witnesses] have not done their interview yet. They’ve got an appointment after Easter to do that at Ballarat, and I just asked for an estimate of how much longer it might be, and they said, well, usually another six to eight months after the information has been collected. I have to go back in for another interview. I tell you. Patience!

[Fr] Anthony [Fisher] asked me the other day when I was seeing him how I would feel about seeing Peter received into the fellowship of the church and knowing that I couldn’t be, and I said simply: “I will rejoice for him." And I will. I really will. It would be silly of me to feel jealous and to wish that that was me, because its not me, I am in a very different situation. One thing that all the priests are saying is that in this process they are dealing with me as an individual--that I have my own individual sitation before God, before the church, and its not like anybody else's, everybody has their own unique situation and the uniqueness of my situation is that I have been ordained in a non-Catholic communion and converted to Rome, but I was married before, and I have remarried and I have children by my second marriage.

It is very difffernt situation from Peter’s. Peter’s different from me. He has been on a road of conversion all his life, from the Brethren into Pentacostalism into Evangelicalism and Lutheranism, and finally into the Roman Catholic church. They’re probably in a bit more of a financial difficulty than I am. Why should I want their situation? My own has enough riches.

How thankful I am for the skills that I have which mean that I will have a meaningful role in this parish working closely with a good and competent pastor, who could even be a good friend over time--well, who has been a good friend, at least in so far as a friend is one who stands by another.

So I guess that sums up where we are at at the moment. Anthony sent through a book today to Cathy (she wasn’t home to open it, but I could see what it was through the envelope and recognised it as a book I had seen before) called “So you are married to a Catholic?”: a humourous book explaining the Catholic faith to a non-catholic partner. Actually I had gone into Church Supplies just last Monday where I had seen the book before, hoping to purchase a copy of the book for Cathy, but I couldn’t find it, and now Anthony has gone and bought it for her--I think that is good.

While I was at Church Supplies, I bought a small rosary for Maddy, and a couple of saints cards and pictures of Jesus’ life, to put into a little box of things for Maddy to keep her amused when she is at Mass. I also bought myself a little rosary ring--a “combat rosary”, so-called because it was designed to be taken by soldiers into combat. It is a ring with ten knobs around it and little crucifix at the top. I keep it in my pocket, and it is possible to use it to praying the car or in bed--Cathy has no idea what I am doing, I don’t think she would approve very much. It is very portable. I am tryng to get into praying the rosary a bit more. Trying to do it properly. What I would like to get a hold of is a picture book with nice representations of each of the mysteries, because I am always forgetting what the sorrowful mysteries are (I can remember the joyful and glorious ones).

It is strange to think when I am praying the Hail Mary, that I am actually talking to Mary. I need to talk to Father Anthony a bit more about this, whether prayer to the saints is mediate or intermediate, direct or indirect. It is a strange notion--strangely comforting at times too.

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