Sunday, September 24, 2006

To keep you satisifed while I'm gone...

"We were just chasing the bad angels out of heaven!"

Away from blogging

Dear Readers and friends,

This likely to be an entire week off from blogging. I leave at 6am on Tuesday morning for a week in Sydney. The weekend will be the National Executive meeting of the Australian Catholic Students Association and the days before that will be a chance for me to have a few meetings and also to catch up with some good friends including the infamous Dominicanus.

The Executive will be having a lunch with our Patron in George Cardinal Pell which is always loads of fun especially as our chaplain, Fr. Gregory Jordan SJ and the Cardinal have known each other for many years.

The week will also be a chance to relax a tad, though I am bringing some uni work with me to do.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Today was my very last Saturday teaching swimming.

A bit of background. I’ve been a swim instructor since I was 15 teaching over the summer holidays until I finished school when I also started teaching on Saturday mornings. I have been teaching for a group called RAPID SWIM which is a program for people with integration difficulties. So over the four years I’ve taught people with Down Syndrome, Autism across the kids which simply have low muscle tone and coordination difficulties. The lessons are all 1:1. I’ve been the instructor-in-charge of my program for the last three years but finally had to say good-bye because I’ve run out of time to study at all.

It is a bit sad. Some of the kids I’ve taught for the whole 4 years. I’ve known a couple of them half their life! One of the mums gave a framed and engraved photo of me and her daughter today - something to remember.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

SA Government

The South Australian State Government delivered their budget today. Yes, our finiancial year is from July1-June30 and they are only getting around to it now. I'm appalled and the media hasn't been critical enough of this. If I were a CEO of a company and planned to deliver a budget at least 3months late, I wouldn't have a job tomorrow. It's not as if they have just go into Government. They've been in Government for four years. They also have billions of extra dollars worth of money to spend than the previous government did four years ago!

Tell us what you think about this? You overseas people, does anything like this happen over there? I think this shows absolute contempt for the South Australian people -- their electors.

Anyway, that's my whinge for today.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bad joke

An Irish nun had been asking her students what they want to be when they grow up.

She asks susie who declares, "I want to be a prostitute."

"What did you say?!" asks the nun, completely shocked.

"I said I want to be a prostitute," Susie says again.

"Oh, thank heavens," says the nun. "I thought you said 'a Protestant!'"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Diplomat does Borat impersonation

I know I try not to blog on Tuesdays because of work & study but I had to post on this one. (BTW I'm still writing an essay that was supposed to be due last Friday) .

This story comes from the SMH. Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev is due to meet George W Bush and they won't discuss ... Borat whose new film
Cultural Learnings of America Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is just hitting the cinemas in time for the visit!!:

"I can say unambiguously that the question of this film or of the art, let's call it that, of Mr Sacha Baron Cohen, will not be discussed (by Nazarbayev and Bush)," Yerzhan Ashykbayev, a Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a news conference in the capital Astana.
You may recall previous clashes...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Guided tour...

"Another thing -- you'll never have to worry about tucking in your shirt!"

Bogleing blogs

Joanna Bogle has recently started publishing at auntie joanna writes. The presentation isn't great but of course the content is awesome. It's probably the most popular new blog because of her profile. Her husband Jamie is an ex-pat Aussie and the two did a speaking tour of Australia last year.

Media Release from Sydney

By + Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney
18 September 2006

It is a sign of hope that no organised violence has flared here in Australia, following Pope Benedict’s recent comments.

No one compared the Pope to Hitler or Mussolini (as in Turkey) or called for his murder as Sheik Malin did in Somalia. No group like the League of Jihadists in Iraq promised “that the soldiers of Mohammed will come sooner or later to shake your throne and the foundations of your state”.

However the violent reactions in many parts of the Islamic world justified one of Pope Benedict’s main fears. They showed the link for many Islamists between religion and violence, their refusal to respond to criticism with rational arguments, but only with demonstrations, threats and actual violence.

Our major priority must be to maintain peace and harmony within the Australian community, but no lasting achievements can be grounded in fantasies and evasions.

The responses of Sheik al-Hilali, Australia’s mufti, in particular, and even Dr. Ameer Ali of the Prime Minister’s Muslim Reference Group were unfortunately typical and unhelpful. It is always some one else’s fault and issues touching on the nature of Islam are ignored.

Sheik al-Hilali often responds to criticism by questioning the intelligence and competence of the questioner or critic. So too with the Pope, whose speech he claimed was not what was expected of a holy person and indeed “the Church needs to re-examine its thoughts about someone who doesn’t have the qualities or good grasp of Christian character or knowledge”.

Dr. Ameer Ali’s published reply was more surprising as it called on Pope Benedict to be more like Pope John Paul II than Pope Urban II, who called the First Crusade. In fact the Pope’s long speech was more about the weaknesses of the Western world, its irreligion and disdain for religion and he explicitly rejected linking religion and violence. He won’t be calling any crusade.

Today Westerners often link genuine religious expression with peace and tolerance. Today most Muslims identify genuine religion with submission (Islam) to the commands of the Quran. They are proud of the spectacular military expansion across continents especially in the decades after the Prophet’s death. This is seen as a sign of God’s blessing.

Friends of Islam in Australia have genuine questions, which need to be addressed, not regularly avoided. We are grateful for those moderate Moslems who have spoken publicly. But as Andrew Robb, Parliamentary Secretary on Multicultural Affairs, told Muslim clerics last weekend evil acts done falsely in the name of Islam around the world “need to be addressed, not swept under the carpet.

Muslims and Abbott

The Australian has published part of Tony Abbott's talk from last Friday night to a public forum, Towards a Cohesive Australia, in the Sydney suburb of Lidcombe. Cardinal Cassidy was also there representing the Catholics in a forum with Muslim leaders. My sources say the night was okay.

Great timing to hold the event (admittedly planned for some months) just after the Pope's words last Tuesday. I can just image Tony thinking "great, thanks alot boss!"

St. Joseph of Cupertino

Introit: Ecclus. 1. 14-15. The love of God is honourable wisdom: and they to whom she shall show herself, love her by the sight, and by the knowledge of her great works. Ps. How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.

Gradual: Ps. 20. 4-5. O Lord, Thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness: Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. v. He asked life of Thee and Thou hast given him length of days for ever, and for ages of ages.
You can find out about St. Joseph of Cupertino here.

I was “introduced” to St. Joseph whilst in year 12. He had a learning disability, and legend has it that he would study intently for one small section of the material, because that was all he was able to do, and prayed that the material he studied would be what he was tested on. As it happened, the small amount of material that he had studied and knew was the material Joseph was tested on time and again in hsi examinations for priesthood.

It is from this, rather than his mystic behaviour, that he is a patron saint of students.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

OZ politics

While the world was watching what would happen next in the "Mr. Pope" vs Muslims saga, here in OZ Greg Smith beat the former Sex-Discrimination Commisioner, Pru Goward in the Liberal Party preselection for the safe seat of Epping. It is the the NSW State Parliament which I (being in SA) have no strict interest in except for the fact that Smith is a Catholic and a high-profile "anti-abortion campaigner" as the papers have constantly put it.

The SMH, which appeared to be backing Pru, reports that it was comprehensive win but also that Goward is likely to now be preselected for another NSW seat.

You can read Goward's profile here.

Another installment of ....

"Monsignor found the short circuit."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Well Il Papa has caused some stir over the last three days after his address to the University of Regensburg on Tuesday (Wednesday Australia time). His address is titled Faith, Reason and the University Memories and Reflections and you can read it for yourself here.

The SMH has this report about the response of Maylasia and there have been riots in other Muslim countries around the globe. The American Papist has a good round-up and will no doubt keep everyone posted with updates.

The Pope has been likened to Hitler and Mussolini by the Turks but the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has just come out in his defence.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Introit: John 19. 25, 26-27. There stood by the cross of Jesus, His mother, and His mother’s sister Mary of Cleophas, and Salome and Mary Magdalen. v. Woman, behold thy son, said Jesus; to the disciple however: Behold thy mother.

Collect: O God, at whose Passion, as Simeon foretold, the most sweet soul of Mary, Thy glorious Virgin Mother, was pierced by a sword of sorrow; mercifully grant that we who reverently mediate upon her sorrows may reap the happy fruit of Thy Passion.

Sequence: Stabat Mater.

Communion: Happy the senses of the blessed Virgin Mary, which without dying earned the palm of martyrdom beneath the cross of our Lord.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

First report...

The folks just got home from the ordination so this is an exclusive. The old man said it was "good". There was good music except for one hymn. The commentators were extremely annoying and the cross above the altar was tacky. As usual George Cardinal Pell appeared like he didn't want to be there - Adelaide is generally a liturgical hole after all! But Dad said it was much better than the installation of Archbishop Wilson which occured in the Entertainment Centre where everyone sits on the sides, two choir lofts higher than the "sanctuary".

The old man took one pic before hand as they were told not to take any photos during the Mass. I've zoomed in and cropped it (click for larger image). You can just make out the chalices on the left-hand-side. Why on such an occasion like this they insist on Communion of both species for everyone is beyond me.

And the tacky cross above the altar. I suppose unlike in Brisbane, Our Lord looks like a male... we must be thankful for small mercys.
I forgot to ask, old man, was there an Aboriginal smoking ceremony this time?

Here is what to get me for Christmas

Very satisfying I'm sure! Get me a pallet!

Episcopal Ordination today

This evening Fr. Greg O'Kelly will be ordained a bishop is the Adelaide Convention Centre. Both my parenst are going so there should be a report for you tomorrow morning (assuming I have time). my usually reserved mother is already worried about the venture -- "it'll probably be like a school Mass!" she said to me yesterday.

CathNews reports that along with a few Archbishops there will be other dignitaries present.
Readers will include South Australia's Chief Justice John Doyle, a Saint Ignatius College old scholar. ABC newsreader Michael Smyth and Channel Seven journalist and presenter Rosanna Mangiarelli will commentate.
Oh dear, TV presenters as commentators. Commentators generally are an abomination regardless of how clearly they speak!

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Originally this feast celebrated the finding of the Holy Cross by St. Helena and the consecration, on September 14, 335 of the basilicas built by Constantine on the sites of the Holy Sepulchre and Calvary at Jerusalem. Later on, the commemoration of the recovery of the Holy Cross from the Persians in 629 was confused with this and supplanted it.

Introit: Gal. 6. 14. But it behoves us to the glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: in whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection; by whom we are saved and delivered. Ps. May God have mercy on us, and bless us; may He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon us, and may He have mercy on us.

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. Sweet the woof, sweet the nails, sweet the load that hangs thereon: for thou alone, O holy Cross, wast worthy to bear the King and Lord of heaven. Alleluia.

Communion: By the sign of the Cross deliver us from our enemies, O Thou who art our God.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Speck doesn't much like surplices either

"Hey, buddy -- not so much starch the next time, please."

Bomber's values

I've been incredibly busy this week and will continue to be until Monday. (I think seven assignments due in one week ontop of everything else I do constitutes busy). So I haven't had the chance to really blog on the Opposition Leader, Kim 'Bomber' Beazley, and his plan to have immigrants and tourists sign an 'Australian values' pledge.

I didn't know we had any generic values here! We certianly aren't a very Christian country. The only things we really value are beer drinking, sport and the Aussie BBQ!

It got me thinking, what are our Australian values and what defines us as Australian? What should our generic values be?

Monday, September 11, 2006

The mask

"There will be a Halloween party for the Boy Scouts immediately after this novena service."

Health of His Holiness

Shouts In The Piazza has a post which suggests that the Holy Father is currently on a "farewell tour" and suggests that his health ain' t that great.
Word in the piazza is that there are whispers in Rome that he'll be dead by this time next year and that, in fact, this visit to Germany, the second in as many years, is so that he could have a chance to see his homeland again in case he gets no more chances.
Now that is news! Now come the "what ifs"...

Jesuit update

Rocco has a post on the 2008 election of the Black Pope.

Vote 1 Fessio for Superior General 2008!

It's even made it to news in Australia!

From CathNews: New institute for former schismatic priests

The Holy See has announced its approval for a new institute that has been created for a group of French priests who have returned to the Church after leaving the traditionalist Society of St Pius X which refused to accept Vatican II changes.

The group of five priests and some seminarians had been part of the movement founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who was excommunicated in 1988 after he consecrated four bishops without Rome's consent, the International Herald Tribune reports.

Lefebvre had founded the Swiss-based Society of St Pius X (SSPX) in 1969 in opposition to the liberalising reforms of the 1962-65 Vatican Council II, particularly allowing Mass to be celebrated in local languages instead of Latin.

Pope Benedict XVI has indicated he wants relations with SSPX to be normalised, reportedly indicating he wants to explore rescinding excommunications of Lafebvre and the three bishops he ordained.

He met last year with the current head of the society, Bishop Bernard Fellay.

The Vatican emphasised that the priests joining the new institute had already left SSPX.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Marini whinge

Look carefully at this pic of His Holiness and Archbishop Marini. Why on earth would you have your hands just clasped together when the Pope is right next to you with the palms of his hand joined solemnly? If that was me, my hands would be joined so solemnly they wouldn't be able to come apart for a week!
But it did remind me to post this pic of a certain Domincan novice acting as MC in a similar situation in July. Well at least in the presence of a Bishop, Fr. Joseph Fessio SJ and a number of Orthodox priests from around the country.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday Funny

An OP friend of mine told this to me a long time ago. I've heard him tell it one or twice since... seems to be a favourite!

A Dominican, a Franciscan and a Jesuit are all fishing out on the lake together.

They run out of beer and the Dominican says, “My shout first”, and proceeds to step out of the boat onto the water and walks to the edge, drops into the pub, and brings back a six-pack.

The three continue fishing and it’s the Franciscan’s turn to buy a round. He gets up, steps out of the boat onto the water and walks across the water to the edge, drops into the pub, and brings back another six-pack.

By now the Jesuit is sweating, unsure how they have walked on the water. But the others have done it so when they next run out of beer, he stands up and announces that it’s his shout. He steps out of the boat onto the water and promptly sinks to the bottom.

The Dominican and Franciscan look at each other and the Franciscan says, “Did you tell him about the sandbar?”

To which the Dominican replies, “What sandbar?”

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Interestingly, this feast originated in the East before finding a place in the Roman liturgy in the 7th Century. This date served to fix that of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.

Introit: Hail, holy Mother, thou who didst bring forth the King, who ruleth heaven and earth for ever and ever. Ps. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.

Collect: We bessech Thee, O Lord, grant to Thy servants the gift of Thy heavenly grace: that as the child-bearing of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, so the joyful festival of her Nativity may bring us an increase of peace.

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. Happy indeed art thou, O sacred Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all high praise: for out of thee hath risen the sun of justice, Christ who is our God. Allleluia.

Sancta Maria Virgine. Ora Pro Nobis

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Strippers in Parliament

The SMH has this breaking story - Climate conference strip show storm. This was at a dinner and the social highlight of the 17th Australia New Zealand Climate Change Forum held in Old Parliament House Canberra.
Red-faced organisers issued the following statement at the closing session of the conference this afternoon: "The ANZ Climate Forum organising committee apologise for any offence taken at the forum dinner. The intent was light-hearted entertainment. In retrospect the choice of entertainment was inappropriate for the occasion.

"We understand if the sponsors wish to withdraw. We trust that this will not reflect on the very productive contributions made by the ANZ Climate Forum. If any participant has further concerns please approach the committee directly."
Crikey! They're only a bunch of climate scientists. Give them a jar of jelly and a balloon, that's entertainment enough, surely?!!

Fessio reports on Pope's closed door symposium

Report on CathNews regarding the Pope's recent meeting with his former students including Fr. Joseph Fessio SJ.
This year's topic was "Creation and Evolution," and one of the presenters was Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, who has argued against what he called "ideological Darwinism." This prompted media speculation that the Pope was considering a shift in the church's general acceptance of the theory of evolution.

But Fr Fessio, who attended the symposium, said nothing was presented at the meeting that "would break new ground or that lays the foundation for a new position."

He added that while participants discussed the relationship among faith, reason and science, "the whole American debate on intelligent design did not occur at all here".
Don't forget: Fessio 4 Superior General 2008!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Colin Thiele RIP

I just wanted to write something short noting the passing of one of Australia’s great authors in Colin Thiele. Thiele’s death was overshadowed by the shock fatality of The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin.

Thiele grew up in Eudunda, a small town north of the Barossa Valley in South Australia and has written well over 100 books for all ages. His books range from poetry and history through to children's stories and adult fiction. Most of his early work was set in the South Australian countryside with his later work based in Queensland after a move to the warmer climate due to arthritis.

His best know book was Storm Boy which was set in the Coorong in the South East SA. Storm Boy, adapted for film in 1976, is a tale about a boy and his pelican released and was published in 1966. His other famous works include The Fire in the Stone, Magpie Island, Poems in My Luggage and The Hammerhead Light most of which I read in middle primary school.

I remember writing to Mr. Thiele once in about Grade 5 for a project we had been assigned to do on a famous Australian. He returned a handwritten personal letter and included his signature on a sticker in case I wished to use it on a poster or something.

He died on Monday aged 85.

The Lord's Prayer

The New Liturgical Movement has a post on the music of the Our Father / Pater Noster. He posts a version in plain chant which is much closer to the original.

This reminds me of a dinner party where we were being amused by an eminent MP who was singing the Pater Noster to the tune of Sr. Janet Mead's "Our Father" -- guitars and all.

Adding St. Joseph to the Eucharistic Prayer

From ZENIT. I found this rather interesting so thought I'd see what people's thoughts were.

ROME, SEPT. 5, 2006 ( Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: I have noticed in the past couple of years that priests are inserting into the Eucharistic Prayers the name of "St. Joseph" even though it is not a feast day of St. Joseph nor is he the patron of the church where the Mass is celebrated. In Eucharistic Prayer III there is the option of inserting the saint of the day or the patron, but in the other Eucharistic Prayers there is no place indicated for such an insertion. Eucharistic Prayer I includes St. Joseph. Is this practice of inserting "St. Joseph" in the Eucharistic Prayers acceptable? Also I have frequently heard the phrase "and religious" added to the part of the Eucharistic Prayers that prays for the clergy -- is that acceptable? -- S.H., Steelton, Pennsylvania

A: In recent years there has been a movement among some priests, and even some bishops, who have petitioned the Holy See to include St. Joseph in all of the Eucharistic Prayers, just as he is present in the Roman Canon.

This interest is probably inspired by the example of Pope Blessed John XXIII, who added St. Joseph's name to the Roman Canon in 1962 at a time when Eucharistic Prayer I was still the only canon in use in the Roman Church.

At the time, this addition caused great surprise as it was the first change made to the Canon in more than 1,000 years. The saintly Pope, however, considered that St. Joseph's unique role as spouse to the Blessed Virgin, foster Father to Our Lord, and patron of the Universal Church more than warranted this adjustment to the Canon.

The Pope did not live to see the many liturgical changes wrought as a result of his convoking the Second Vatican Council, including the subsequent addition of several new Eucharistic Prayers.

The practice of naming St. Joseph was not carried into the new prayers for many reasons, usually because the new ones, except for the third, mostly specifically mentioned only the Blessed Virgin Mary and afterward the saints in a general way, by classes (apostles, martyrs, etc).

It could well be argued that St. Joseph is in a class of his own and merits a special mention after the Blessed Mother. Someday, perhaps, the Holy See may see fit to give a positive answer to these petitions.

In the meantime, however, all priests should obey the approved texts and neither add nor subtract anything. Disobedience to Church law is certainly no way to honor the Church's universal patron who is characterized by silent obedience to all that God asked of him.

The same response can be given to those who add "and religious" to the Eucharistic Prayers, with the added note that it is not good ecclesiology.

The prayers intercede for the different sacramental orders in the Church. Religious who are priests are included among the clergy. All other religious are included among the baptized as "the entire people your Son has gained for you," but they do not constitute a separate sacramental order in the Church.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lego Church

I dug up this old email of a Lego Church. The email goes like this:
How long to build it? It was about a year and a half of planning, building and photographing.

How many pieces of LEGO to build it? More than 75,000.

How big is it? About 7 feet by 5 1/2 feet by 3
0 inches.

How many lego people does it seat? 1372

How many windows? 3976

It features a balcony, a Narthex, stairs to the balcony,restrooms, coat rooms, several mosaics, a nave, a baptistery, an alter, a crucifix, a pulpit and an elaborate pipe organ.

Obviously a Protestant Church as I can't see an altar but think about the technical espect of it all. I really like the pipe organ and choir loft as well as the massive pulpit (none of those things called lecturns).

Monday, September 04, 2006

Why wait until Friday...

I was sent this joke again just the other day.

The new priest is nervous about hearing confessions, so he asks the older priest to sit in on his sessions.

The new priest hears a couple of confessions, then the old priest asks him to step out of the confessional for a few suggestions.

The old priest suggests, "Cross your arms over your chest, and rub your chin with one hand and try saying things like 'yes, I see,' and 'yes, go on,' and 'I understand.'"

The new priest crosses his arms, rubs his chin with one hand and repeats all the suggested remarks to the old priest.

The old priest says, "Now, don't you think that's a little better than slapping your knee and saying, "No shit...what happened next?"

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Results: Poll on stem cells

I will assume that only my Australian visitors voted in this poll as it is relevant to them. (Less than 1/3 of my daily number of visitors recorded a vote).

An overwhelming number of you (80%) would take the way your local Member of Parliament votes on therapeutic cloning into account at the next Federal election with 55% definitely not voting for them if they vote ‘yes’ to a relaxation of the current laws.

My local member is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health, Christopher Pyne, who was a great opponent of the 2002 stem cell bill and will no doubt again oppose any change to the status quo. In fact, I expect that the vote on stem cells will go down exactly the same lines here in South Australia as the RU486 bill did back in February – a majority of ALP members in support and a great majority of Liberal MPs against.

Now that's gotta be some sermon!

"I think he means us!"

Friday, September 01, 2006

Jokes for Friday

Two men considering a religious vocation were having a conversation. "What is similar about the Jesuit and Dominican Orders?" the one asked.

The second replied, "Well, they were both founded by Spaniards -- St. Dominic for the Dominicans, and St. Ignatius of Loyola for the Jesuits. They were also both founded to combat heresy -- the Dominicans to fight the Albigensians, and the Jesuits to fight the Protestants."

"What is different about the Jesuit and Dominican Orders?"

"Met any Albigensians lately?"


Frank goes to a Dominican priest. He asks the Dominican to pray a novena that he can get a Lexus. The Dominican asks "what's a Lexus?" Frank explains, and the Dominican declines to pray the novena for such a worldly intention.

So Frank goes to a Franciscan priest and asks him to pray a novena for Frank to get a Lexus. The Franciscan asks "what's a Lexus?" Frank explains, and the Franciscan declines to pray the novena for such a worldly intention.

So Frank goes to a Jesuit priest and asks him to pray a novena that he can get a Lexus. The Jesuit asks "what's a novena?"


And to be fair there is, of course, the old Jesuit joke:

A Dominican and a Franciscan were having an argument about which of their orders was more pleasing to God. The Domincan naturally was arguing the case of the Friars Preachers, and the Franciscan was holding forth for the Friars Minor. Their discussion was getting heated, when they decided that divine intervention was the best thing, and so they prayed for a sign to end the quarrel.

Immediately, a dove descended from heaven with a slip of paper in its beak, dropped the paper, and flew off. "What does it say??" said the Dominican, eagerly. "Well", said the Franciscan. looking up from the paper, "it says "I love all of my devoted sons equally. And it's signed "God, S.J"."

First Day of Spring

This is a pic from yesterday evening of the apricot tree in blossom. Spring is well and truely here in Adelaide. There has been nothing but blue skies for the last 3-4 days and yesterday was shorts weather! Summer is just around the corner. (So you can't argue that Spring starts on the 22nd or 23rd.)