Praised be Jesus Christ! Just wanted to share a bit of what my day looked like today and SGH will share with you her 2 cents. I had the early morning (5:30am) airport shift which was quite quiet. We were supposed to be there to greet incoming volunteers and direct them to wherever they needed to go. Because I missed the morning Mass with the other sisters, after my shift ended I made my way to St. Benedict’s Church for mid-day Mass only to learn that the Church was closed. While there, the Lord put two other people in my path. Father Carlo (a Son of Divine Providence – that’s the name of his community – an Australian priest working in Jordan) and a lady from South Carolina, USA. Both were heading towards St. Mary’s Cathedral (my ultimate destination) and both were searching for a place to attend(and in Father’s case to celebrate) Mass. We ended up befriending each other and it truly was a God-sent as forging my way through downtown Sydney by myself was not the best idea though I wanted to walk it versus the bus. (Impressed?!?) En route to the Cathedral, we happened to pass by St. Peter Julian’s Catholic Church where a Mass was just finished. Met some people we know from CA! While there Father received permission to celebrate Mass and we had a private Mass when we thought it wouldn’t be a possibility at all. What a wonderful gift!!
While making our way to the Cathedral (with me acting as the guide…which is why we made a slight detour almost to the harbor…by accident) we crossed paths with a group of about 100 young people playing guitars and singing with all their hearts and on the top of their lungs I might add. Twas so beautiful. We’ve met so many wonderful people here who are slowly but surely opening their hearts to us. Even the bus driver today let us get on for free. Now that’s a BIGEE. Prayed for you all in the crypt of the Cathedral – one of the adoration sites. Miss you all. God bless you!
Sister Mary Scholastica, OCD
While Sister Mary Scholastica woke up VERY early this morning to help greet the pilgrims arriving at the airport, I was able to slow my pace just slightly. I went to Saint Joseph’s Church for morning Mass. This little church is quietly tucked away in the neighborhood around the corner from Sydney University where we are staying. It was a 10 minute walk – very exhilarating in the crisp weather right now (its cooled off a bit since we have arrived). I was, once again, struck by the humility of the priest and his love for his priesthood. All the priests we have met thus far have such a tender love for the Church.
The pilgrims are now steadily streaming in…many from the United States. I was stationed at the cathedral today – at Pier Giorgio’s remains. I met pilgrims today from every continent and, though, there were times when I could not speak their language, it was amazing how we were able to communicate…and actually understand one another! The Mystical Body… I met a group of teens from Taiwan who were standing around talking near Pier Giorgio’s remains – not paying any attention to the fact that they were so close to something so sacred, I asked them if they knew about Pier Giorgio, they didn’t – now, this whole conversation was in broken English on both ends 🙂 By the end I understood that they were here only for three days and going on to study somewhere – I told them about Pier being a student and loving school and encouraged them to ask him to intercede for them, soon all of them were kneeling at his reliquary praying to him. Good young people..the desire for truth and the openness to it is there – there is so much hope in our youth.
In contrast to this group of young people, a very elderly woman, who spoke very little English came up to me, took my hand, and said only two words: “Beautiful church.” Then, her eyes filled with tears and she made the sign of the cross on herself over and over, then she walked out of the cathedral very slowly. I felt, in that 30 second exchange, as though I was privileged to peer into the soul of one who had suffered much in life, yet had found the beauty in her relationship with God through everything – it was a true sense of the sacred at that moment.
Our world becomes so small when you realize that every soul is longing for only one thing – union with God.
With much gratitude and love for all of you in His Divine Mercy,
Sister Grace Helena
P.S. I just read SMS’s “reflection” and wanted to share that she was tour guide for me, as well, after my shift…and we DID end up down at the harbor. Nice walk, but in the opposite direction of our destination. I forgive her. 🙂