This morning when at SS Peter and Paul`s Longbenton, I found a Latin Mass missal belonging to one of our EF regulars. I often find an odd missal or two left in church after an EF Mass. The congregation varies in size between 15 and 40. If the EF really takes off in a big way I would expect that the numbers of missals left behind would also increase. People rarely write their names in their missals but by playing a Catholic equivalent of the TV show `Through the keyhole` where viewers had to guess the celebrity owner of a house by viewing their home and possessions so I often have to try to determine whose missal I`ve found by examining the holy pictures and memorial cards. It does also surprise me that often people don`t always come looking for their missal. I suppose if I had a regular congregation of hundreds of people I`d just have a box at the back of church for lost missals.
In my previous parishes I have always said that one of the advantages of the priesthood is that I need never buy an umbrella as there are normally always a supply from those left behind. Sadly this golden rule doesn`t seem to apply north of the Tyne however. In fact very little is left behind, apart from Latin Mass missals, although I still wonder why no-one has ever reclaimed the mobile phone left in church.