Tag Archives: monsignor

An absent-minded priest and a moist turkey

We’re in the middle of a very nice four-day Thanksgiving weekend, at least for me, that is. This is Mrs. Poolman’s year to work the Thanksgiving holiday and to be off for Christmas. She was at the hospital  on Thursday and today (Saturday.)

With Mrs. P taking care of babies and both our children doing the day-side of the holiday with their husband’s and girlfriend’s families, I had a quiet day to myself.  I went to 9 o’clock Mass where I was scheduled to lector. That is usually an adventure, especially when Monsignor C is celebrating. I really like the Monsignor. He is a 70+ year old Irishman with a dry sense of humor. We get along very well. However, he tends to change things and not tell the other members of his team. On Thursday, we couldn’t find any copy of a “Prayers of the Faithful” for that date. When I asked Monsignor about it, he said, “Oh, they are in a special booklet. I’ll have to give them to you at the altar.”

Oh, great, that meant a “cold read.” That’s not usually a problem unless there are some difficult names in the petitions for the deceased, sick, etc. Then Monsignor decided to skip the Creed, which is normally my cue to go to the podium to read the Prayers. As it turned out, as I walked up to the altar, our other priest, Father John, met me half way and handed me the booklet. No problem, after all.

Actually, I have been doing the lectoring long enough that I can roll with the action pretty well. Just about everything that can go wrong has done so for me at one time or another. I do become a little concerned about some of our younger lectors, many of whom are some of my former CCD students who I have recruited and coached. They are significantly less confident about handling some of Monsignor’s curve-balls.

I spent the rest of the day hanging out, working on some photos from a friend’s daughter’s wedding I shot a couple of weeks ago and finishing preps for the Thanksgiving meal. My main responsibility was the turkey. At Mrs. P’s suggestion, I tried a radically different roasting technique. I have cooked holiday turkeys more times than I can count. Usually, I roast it covered with foil at 325 for about 4-5 hours,, uncovering for the last hour and periodically basting. I may never do that again. Here is a great method that produced a fantastic, very moist bird.

1. Prepare the bird as usual, seasoning it and placing an apple, celery and a bay leaf in the cavity.

2. Place in a covered roasting pan and put it into a cold oven.

3. Turn the oven to 450 degrees and when it pre-heats to that temperature (about 15 minutes) set your timer for one hour.

4. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off and just let it sit for five hours. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN!

I was a skeptic. I didn’t think it would work, but it sure did. Our turkey was a little over 15 pounds. You might need to adjust a little for a larger bird. I really don’t know. The key was the white meat was very moist, which I can’t say is always the case with my more traditional roasting technique.

Another advantage of this technique is that it would work very well to cook overnight.

The rest of the family came over in the evening and Mrs. P got home around 7:30 pm. So our holiday dinner was at 8:30 pm, but it was a great one anyway.

Right to the point

Last Wednesday, Mrs. Poolman and I attended the Ash Wednesday evening Mass at our church. Normally on Wednesday evenings, we have CCD class, but last week,  that was replaced by the Ash Wednesday Mass. Since I had strongly encouraged my students to ask their parents to take them, I figured it was a good idea if I went also.

It was obvious that our pastor, Monsignor C, was trying to keep down the length of the Mass. The distribution of ashes alone took at least ten extra minutes.  So when it came time for his homily, Monsignor walked to the pulpit and had this to say:

“I’ll try to express my homily in as few words as possible.

It’s Lent.

Shape up!”

As he turned from the pulpit, he got a rousing round of applause. Way to go, Monsignor!

Christening a baby and bathing a cat

Friday morning —

It’s been a busy week here at Casa Poolman.

Our Baptism demonstration for our CCD students went great Wednesday night. We had roughly 100 kids witness the celebration. They were extremely well behaved and attentive. Monsignor C did a super job explaining each step of the ceremony. The baby’s family seemed to get into it. Having that many young “honorary God parents” didn’t seem to detract from the impact of the event. Even young Kieran was calm and quiet most of the time.

Now we have set the bar high for next year. We will need to be on the look out for a family that gets pregnant in the next few months and start working on them to provide their child for next year’s program.

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Sid the Cat is apparently not holding a grudge after our encounter yesterday evening. Sid is a large, long-haired, neutered, male Manx. (That means he ain’t got no tail.) Like most Manx’s, Sid likes to hang around near his “people” but he really doesn’t like to get real close. He likes to be petted, but he doesn’t like to be held and he definitely is not a “lap cat.” And after last night, I can also attest that he definitely does not like getting a bath.

Sid the Cat

I noticed Sid had an issue when I walked through the room he was in and smelled him. Apparently, Sid didn’t take care of himself real well after using the litter box. He was hiding, but he wasn’t difficult to find. I just followed my nose.

I filled one of the kitchen sinks with warm, soapy water. I located Sid and got him into the empty sink. Using an old rag, I tried to get him wiped off. Without going into the disgusting details, let’s just say that Sid had some major hygiene issues. I needed scissors and several refills of the sink. Sid took it only so long and then he was “outta there.”

The good news is the only thing damaged was Sid’s dignity. I escaped without any scratches. After some liberal use of bleach to clean out the sinks, all was good.

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We still have some work to do this weekend to reassemble our home-office, but after that, Mrs. P says we are taking the weekend off. No argument from me. I can use a weekend of R&R before tackling the next project.