Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Australian Hospitality

I am down under, as they say, in a little town near Melbourne called Doveton where our group of thirty-eight is being hosted by the generous people of Holy Family Parish. It has been a busy week (how has a week passed so quickly?), and tomorrow morning, we bid farewell to these kind people to continue our journey to meet the Holy Father in Sydney.

Australia is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. I must admit that I had never harbored any desire to see this continent, but I am overwhelmed at what we have seen. Our first night here, our host family took us to see kangaroos. Yesterday, on a ferry across the local harbor, we saw dolphins. Eucalyptus trees abound, but so far, have contained no koalas. We have heard, but not seen the kookaburra (who does in fact live in the 'ol gum tree eating all the gumdrops
etc . . .)

Friday took us to the city to celebrate a mass of commissioning with thousands of other people from around the world (among whom was occasional blog contributor Scott). Saturday was a drive along the Great Ocean (pronounced 'gradation' in Australian) Road through mountain, forest, and plain to see the "Twelve Apostles." Throughout there have been times of prayer and adoration, Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, and those things typical to youth bus trips. After Mass today, we joined the parish for a meal (we have stopped eating since our arrival), where we all sampled a bit of fried kangaroo.

What has moved me most, however, has been the generosity and hospitality of our hosts. This is my third World Youth Day. Only here in Australia, though, have the people been so happy to see us, so quick to welcome us. Our host parish is not wealthy, but they have sacrificed deeply to prepare for and host us during our stay with them. They have driven us, fed us, washed our clothes, roused us at ridiculously early hours, and done everything we could imagine to make us comfortable. I don't know that I have experienced such hospitality before.

I have long held that World Youth Day is held in those nations who need a revitalization of the Church. I think that is true here in Australia, but I think that the Americans here will go home with having learned a good lesson about hospitality and generosity, and the part they play in the pursuit of holiness.


Jodi said...

Your experience sounds wonderful. I've always wanted to go to Australia, and to see the Pope. Are you with the Rapid City Diocese?

Shirley said...

I too have always wanted to visit Australia. There are some good Catholic bloggers there that I would love to meet, Therese at http://aussiecoffeeshop.blogspot.com/ and Marty at http://marty-corboy.blogspot.com/ There is hope for the church in Australia with people like them! Enjoy your stay!

J. Thorp said...

Enjoy yourself, Tyler -- I know from Toronto that it can be hectic, but find some quiet time too!

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