Day 3 begins. Sisters, it 2:43 am your time…and we are “still able to sit up and take nourishment”. 🙂 Today has been packed to the max and full of surprises. Sister Grace Helena and I are assigned to help with registration and after a morning of “in-servicing” and learning how to respond to 2,000 some emails and non-stop phone calls, we were in for quite a surprise – which SGH will happily tell you about. I chuckle now even thinking about it.
We had the blessing of being able to greet Cardinal George Pell as he was in the lobby waiting to go upstairs. WYD headquarters is at the Chancery. PRAY for his Eminence as he carries a huge burden and it seems as if red flannels is going double time at the moment. I also received WONDERFUL news today which I hope Mother or Sister Emma Luz will pass on to you. You are all in my prayers. I’ll let SGH continue from here…
Sister Mary Scholastica
Praised be Jesus Christ, Sisters! The day began with excitement as we all were really ready to start helping wherever we were needed. After we received our assignments, we worked for most of the morning and returned to the Chancery for 12:30 Mass. We are being met by smiles everywhere, especially at the Chancery – from one end of the hall to the other and on every floor by the volunteers, visitors, and employees – they are sooo grateful and thrilled to see all the Sisters – it has truly given all of us a shot in the arm as a reminder of the dignity and beauty of our calling as consecrated religious.
Alright…now for some fun news…literally “news”… 🙂 After Mass we were waiting for lunch, which was ordered for us at the Chancery, but by 2:00 pm, it still had not arrived; so, Father Raymond, a priest from Canada, who is assigned to the Communications aspect of WYD asked all the Sisters if we would take a walk to Hyde Park (across from the Chancery and where the Cathedral is located) for a “photo shoot.” Yes, we made the news this evening and will be in the papers tomorrow. Father and the those in charge of media communications explained that the Australian press is not very positive about the Catholic Church and that WYD has been receiving bad press…they had organized this “shoot” to give a positive angle and to show the public that this event is indeed a blessing for Australia. We thought a few pictures in the park of all the Sisters…no..as we walked down this beautiful walkway of arched trees we were asked to slow down a bit, to walk together, to mix and mingle as they were taking pictures – great! Then, we all looked at the end of the walkway and there were 10 to 15 photographers, newscasters and reporters all lined up, filming, taking notes, and clicking cameras like there was no tomorrow. None of us expected this…when we reached the end, the reporters began interviewing some of us, the pictures kept clicking and the cameras kept rolling – it was a true media event, just as we had been told (but, it didn’t really register until we were in the midst of it all)! Sydney’s beautiful cathedral was in the background as we made our way (directed by Father and the media coordinator) around and around and around (not really that much but that’s what it felt like) a huge fountain, as interviews continued. Those interviewing us were from the secular press and seemed intrigued and a bit mystified at seeing so many “young sisters” – I think they were sincerely surprised at how many of us there were. (SMS’ edit inserted here) We will probably see SGH quoted (not to mention that she was in the front lines) and someone asked me permission to publish a photo – so we shall see how the Carmelites end up in the Australian Times. (end of edit)
After our debut to Australian society, we returned for lunch and then back to our assignments for the afternoon. Our adventures on the Australian bus system is a whole other story…tomorrow… We love you all!
Sister Grace Helena, OCD