Just like our good friend Doms, my wife and I were able to attend Ash Wednesday mass today. It was another day off for us as the kids were either in school or in daycare. It was pretty strange not having to go to church with them because we were able to concentrate solely on the mass. Our normal church routines consist of making sure the kids behave, keeping them distracted or pacifying them at the same time trying to hear what priest is saying! All in all a harried experience.
Some churches here actually recognise the hassle parents of little kids have to go through and that they actually have a 'quiet room' near the back of the church with toys to keep kids occupied while the mass is going on. Of course, this isn't exactly full proof as it's mostly there to keep the kids noises away from the other parishoners. We parents still have to deal with the tantrums and what not without the din disturbing the other church goers.
Anyway, the wife and I found ourselves child free in church for the first time in a long while. We went to hear mass at the cathedral in the city. We've been there several times before but always with the kids. This time, we were able to actually get to sit through all of it! The morning mass wasn't even full so we were able to actually hear the sermon but a lady came in late and asked if she could have some of my wife's ashes from her forehead!
Adelaide is known as the city of churches. It seems like every corner block has a church of some faith ( Anglican, Uniting, Protestant etc ) but Adelaide ( and probably all of Australia ) doesn't have a large Catholic population. There's only one Catholic church in the city and masses are few and far between. Unlike the Philippines where it's every hour on the hour ( usually ).
There were only 4 masses today and at first I was a bit sad to see a poor turnout for an Ash Wednesday mass but then I heard that the noon time mass was widely attended so I hope Catholicism is still alive and well in Adelaide.