Message from Fr. Karl
I grew up in a family for whom Christmas and the preparation for Christmas was a huge undertaking every year. During the late summer early fall my parents would begin buying the mixed fruit and supplies for the numerous Christmas cakes and puddings that my mother made for all the families. From October to near Christmas the house would be filled with the smells of Christmas (all the spices that are used in rich fruit cakes and puddings).
There was none of that in the mission and even if I wanted to make a cake or a pudding we had not the facilities. Cooking most of the time was done on a charcoal burner which was in a kitchen away from the house. In the house we had a single gas burner for boiling a kettle or a single saucepan. Yes Christmas was different and it was easy to be homesick but we were busy.
In the month leading up to Christmas the aim was to visit every outstation and small places in the parish. Confessions would be open to all and Mass would be celebrated. All those preparing for sacraments would be met and people would be encouraged to arrange marriages and convalidate marriages. Most of a day would be spent in the outstation. The rainy season was over and the harvest was in. People were happy as there was food and some money and they were ready to celebrate. Like here, people would want something new for Christmas. At the weekly markets there would be reams of cloth and the seamstresses and tailors would be busy. Unlike here the weather was getting warmer and the dust was everywhere as the wind dried up everything. There would be no white Christmas, only a warm tropical one. With the dry season it was easier to travel as the dirt roads were dry and the hazards now were the potholes not the mud. There were more people at Mass in the outstations and in the main church. Religious education was better attended.
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Children’s Liturgy of the Word
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