Saturday 3 October 2009
Dessie called for me at 8.30 and we were in time for morning prayer at the RE Congress in The Fairways. It involved a lot of singing. Peter McVerry SJ lectured a Jeremiad on economics. Anti-Capital? Round table at lunch on the connection between parish and RE in the school. Tall dark-haired woman from Cork with a happy face facilitated. There was a woman from Ballinhassig in the group at our table. She knew who I was talking about when I mentioned Liam P Deasy. I consumed soup and sandwiches and drank coffee and a glass of red for which I paid all the change in my purse ~ €5.40. Attended Tom Hamill’s workshop after lunch. Tom managed to annoy Dessie who was totally dismissive of Hamill throughout the day afterwards. Hamill had made a speech and a presentation to Cardinal Daly before lunch. The Cardinal’s 92nd birthday. Hamill headlined the year 2012 for some reason but his workshop from an ideological point of view was a sort of biblical rehash of Peter McVerry’s testimony. A very happy and uplifting workshop followed on classroom strategy. Faith and Food: Recipes for the RE Classroom. Given by Patricia Kieran and Catherine McNally. One tall dark and very Irish, the other the very stereotype of an English milkmaid. We spread a cloth on the floor and put out a spread. I ate delicious purple seedless grapes, nuts, cheese and drank a little grape juice. I also proclaimed the grace and read from the Acts the passage about sharing everything in common in the early church. Paddy Whyte’s brother led the song "This Is the Day the Lord Has Made." Dessie and I had a chat with Brother Whyte in the corridor later. He too was enthusiastic about the workshop. They made a Swiss roll St. Brigid’s cross, butter icing, Christmas log, chocolate icing. Small "coconut" marshmallows in paper "cups." Sweetness = Love of God. Hamill conducted the Passover meal after a 2 hour break. It was long – he was a bit ill-tempered – but the food was lovely especially the mashed potato and the lamb. I took a second helping of lamb and my system struggled to cope later in the night and morning. I drank a few ceremonial glasses of red. During the break before this meal I took off my shoes and walked the labyrinth in the sacred space talking all the while to Dessie. We overlooked the fact that there was supposed to be silence. I also wove my two threads into the hessian cloth with a big-eyed needle. On impulse I bought a crib with my credit card off the Veritas stand. It was marked €150 but the assistant accepted my bid of €130. A Christmas pressie for Lisa (& Og). Wrote too in the "Journal." I sat for the meal at the very end of the table nearest the door. Sr. Rosita opposite proved an excellent conversationalist. The waitresses were friendly and they looked well, made eye-contact and smiled quite often. The manageress said "Goodnight" to me as I exited the hotel. I read through some of the texts for tomorrow’s liturgy when the conversation flagged at the table.