Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sydney visit - Part I

I will write bits and pieces gradually about my Sydney trip (ie. only while procrastinating).

I woke Tuesday morning at 4am to catch a 6am flight (had to be at the airport an hour early). I arrived at Sydney domestic terminal to whisked away to the international terminal to meet a guy from the US who was about to leave to go back home. He started a huge graduate network of Catholic Young Adults in the US. Apparently they have got 300 orthodox young Catholics together for a weekend… wait for it… where all they did was drink beer, eat food and listen to a single talk by George Weigel! Now that’s some weekend! Anyway keep an eye out for a similar initiative of ACSA’s which has been in the pipeline for two years but will hopefully get under way soon. We will, however, have more of a focus of further development.

Tuesday night I spent with Dominicanus who put some effort in considering the state of his foot. We had a delicious Guinness Pie at the Rooty Hill Tavern along with a bottle of red wine and a few beers – Cooper’s Pale on tap!

Wednesday I was up early to head back into Sydney for meetings with Dr. Michael Casey the personal secretary to George Cardinal Pell and third-in-charge of WYD 2008. I can’t go into detail but Casey was a pleasure to meet and great fun too. There is a bit in common but don’t expect me to do a PhD anytime soon. The WYD meeting was also successful. Wednesday evening I met with ACSA’s NSW rep and a couple of others to discuss NSW affairs followed by dinner where I met up with a few more old friends including Acolytus who comments here from time-to-time.

It was late by the time I got back to Oakhurst with Fr. E.

Wednesday morning both Fr. E and I were up early. I was off to Campion College to meet with our Functions Manager and also to have a chat with Fr. John Fleming, President of the College. ACSAs Chaplain, Fr. Gregory Jordan SJ was also to join us. Fr. Ephraem couldn’t make it as that was at the same time as his appointment at the hospital about his foot – he was 98% sure he’d be back and he’d cook that night.

Anyway, of course we know now that Fr. was kept in for a few days so I wasn’t able to eat with him. (Damn! Fr. is such a great cook!) The time at Campion was both fun and productive. Fr. Fleming gave me a few good ideas about ACSA and we also discussed South Australian politics and affairs over a light lunch in the sun. I also met a few of the students and the staff. Some read my blog but tend not to post… Frs. Fleming and Jordan concelebrated Mass at midday in the chapel. It’s quite nice, and so much nicer done ad Orientem and with the common in Latin! And the Pax was also done nicely!! No nodding or shaking hands at all! (That’s one thing that bugs me about the new rite, just before Holy Communion your thoughts and prayers are disrupted by people demanding to shake hands – but this is for another time).

With Fr. Ephraem out of action I decided to stay the night at St. James’ Dominican Priory in Glebe. After dropping off my bags I met up with ACSA’s treasurer and experienced Warrane College – only briefly – for the first time. We had a quick chat about our finances before I headed back to Circular Quay for dinner with the Elderly Relative who happened to be in town for a meeting. Had a jolly meal on the Rocks and was a chance to really relax for the first time in two days.

Sorry no photos from these days but there is more to come!

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