Last Sunday, I celebrated Mass at the Grange Hall on Aborn Road at 9:30 AM and I was also scheduled to celebrate Mass in the Gathering Hall at 11 AM. This is usually a tight schedule because we have coffee and donuts in the Grange, after Mass, and the priest stays around and talks with the people.
We had a special occasion last Sunday because Armando and Helen Guerrero were celebrating 50 years of marriage and John and Louise Tedford were Celebrating their 45th anniversary. We had coffee and cake and, after a while, I said “I must be going” and headed back to the parish grounds where I ran into the traffic coming for the 11 AM Mass. I knew that I would find parking, so I was not worried as I saw spaces being taken by the cars in front of me. To my surprise, when I came to the two parking spots reserved for clergy on Sunday, the two were taken. Someone had taken one of the spaces for the second priest. All the other spaces were filled so I then had to back up, and go around the median, following the arrows, and ended up down in the gravel, behind the containers. It was now about 5 minutes to 11 and I had to dash the last 100 yards to get into the Gathering Hall on time. Needless to say I did not have much time to become recollected and calm for this celebration. Next time, I will give myself more of a cushion, and I will also tell our facilities people to reline and rewrite the ”Reserved for Clergy” signs on those two spaces even if that is no guarantee that people will follow them!
I had experienced what some of our parishioners do every Sunday as they look for parking while watching the clock to be on time for Mass.
Of course, the good news is that we are already taking steps to provide extra parking.