I have to admit that I find going to Mass in Brisbane one of the most stressful times in my week. Aaron is generally well behaved and has had good training in Palembang because masses there are regularly 90 minutes long. The difference over there is that there is always so much noise in the church from other children or traffic noises when people open and close the doors that any misbehavior from Aaron is often unnoticed.
When we got here in October, we started off going to the parish that we've been to since before I moved away. The priest there gives fantastic surmons and the music used to be great. Unfortunately, that priest is also known to leave his surmons incomplete if he felt he couldn't handle the distractions in the congregations. He'll be very apologetic about it and explain that he's not as young as he used to be but its still awkward. Right?
The last time we were there, a teenager was reading the parish newsletter during the homily. He made a general comment that people shouldn't be reading the newsletter but the teenager didn't hear and continued to. Two minutes later, the priest announced that he just couldn't continue. All this happened at the same time that Aaron was flipping through one of his big story books. I tried my best to turn the pages discretely but it was a big and wide hardcover book.
Anyway, we went back to that church a couple of times but it was just too quiet and tense for my blood pressure so we've gone back to the parish in our area. And its great! There is always a baby making some noise for part of the mass each week and the parish priest seems more than tolerant. He even invites children up to the alter to help him during the eucharistic prayers.
I'm not saying that its completely stress free going here because there is still some level of tension as the church is very quiet (apart from noises from kids) but at least I don't have to sit in fear and hold such a tight leash on Aaron.
Also, they have a joke page on the back of their newsletter that I always read to calm myself before mass starts. Here is this week's:
The Book of Smiles
Q: What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth?
Q: What do they call Pastors in Germany?
A: German Shepherds
Q: Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A: Noah. He floated his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.
Q: What kind of motor vehicles are there in the Bible?
A: Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury. David's Triumph was heard throughout the land. Also, probably a Honda, because the apostles were all in one Accord.
Q: Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A: Samson. He brought the house down.
Q. Which area of Palestine was especially wealthy?
A: The area around Jordan. The banks were always overflowing.
Q. Which Bible character has no parents?
A: Joshua, son of Nun.