This week and last, I returned to Channel Ten studio in South Yarra to film five episodes of Mass For You At Home.
Last week I was accompanied by Rev Joel Peart, who was ordained a deacon last September, and will be ordained a priest this coming September. One of those Masses was the Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.”
Every year on that day, seminarians in Australia visit parishes and promote the seminary and priestly vocations, often by means of a short address after communion. MFYAH’s tight filming schedule prevents that option, but transitional deacons are able to do something strictly prohibited of other seminarians: they can preach the homily! Hence Joel’s invitation to preach – which he did very well. You can see for yourself next June. (The fact I was still jetlagged, and he spared me the specter of preaching, is an accidental bonus!)
This week I filmed three Masses which won’t be televised until February 2016! I asked a seminarian to serve at the altar. This is how I was introduced to MFYAH, assisting Fr Mark Withoos back in 2007. Marcus Goulding, who is due to be ordained a deacon this year, willingly obliged. In the end, though, he didn’t serve at all. He ended up as lector, and unlike any other first timer I’ve seen – myself included – he wasn’t nervous at all! He says he worked a lot in film studios in secondary school, so nothing phases him.
I also brought a couple of guests with me this week, who joined the TV “congregation.” Blog readers are all familiar, I’m sure, with Simon Hogan’s racing tips. (Better than average, I might add.) Simon the Pieman travelled from Warrnambool with his mum on a train which departed at 5am. Unfortunately, although he was in the Channel Ten building in time for my Mass, he was locked out of the filming studio. We still got a few photos though, and Simon and Annette hung around for Fr Martin Dixon’s Masses while I happily returned to make up to remove all that gunk from my face!!
Simon and Jeff are part of the reason I’m one of MFYAH‘s celebrants. A few years ago, Simon, who watches Neighbours, commented on Facebook that I was on TV. “Fr Corrigan” was an offscreen character, whom the protagonists frequently referred to in the lead up to a Ramsay Street wedding. I basked in the glory of my TV famedom. Jeff is another Facebook friend and occasional reader of the blog, so when he saw the exchange, he asked if I’d really like to appear on television. And the rest is history.