SOFI’S THIRTY DAY RETREAT

August 2, 2018 by

Sofi has just started her Thirty Day Retreat. She has spent some days moving into  silence and in praying on the love of God before moving into ‘The Principle and Foundation’. Sofi is now taking time to pray deeply on the meaning of her life and on ways of becoming more and more free to serve God as fully as she can. We are grateful for your prayer at this time. Every evening at 8pm we spend time in Adoration of the Eucharist. We will be praying for you during this time.

Orange Sky Australia: Love made real through soap and water!

July 25, 2018 by

I am so impressed by the two young men who started Orange Sky to offer those who are homeless the opportunity to wash their clothes, have a shower and have some good conversations with caring people. To date, they and their amazing team have made it possible to wash 68,000 loads of washing, have offered shower facilities for 4000 people and have had conversations with 100,000 people. When I am tempted to think badly of our world I often like to think of all the good Orange Sky is doing…through love expressed in  soap, hot water and time. This initiative encourages me to do whatever I can to make the lives of others a little better. More than that it fills me with hope at the sheer godness of so many people.

 

UNITED IN THE CHARISM

July 22, 2018 by

Last Saturday fifty of us braved the chill of a Melbourne July evening to gather together in the FCJ Area Office.  We had just celebrated Mass and then had a delicious evening meal. The room was buzzing with life and energy as FCJs and Companions in Mission enjoyed reconnecting  or meeting for the first time. It was a true meeting of hearts and minds. What a joy! It is amazing to think that what connects us is the FCJ Charism. How lovely to know we belong to such a loving and vibrant extended family.

THAI CAVE RESCUE – A TRIBUTE TO THE POWER OF INTERNATIONAL UNITY

July 10, 2018 by

Like millions of others around the world I have been following the news of the twelve Thai boys and their football coach trapped in a cave deep below ground. It was the stuff of nightmares except it was all too real. How amazing that against all the odds they have all been rescued. One very brave and generous man, Samam Gunan, gave his life in the process. The divers repeatedly risked their lives for the good of others. As well as pray for the successful outcome of the rescue mission I have been reflecting on how powerful we all become when we put aside those things that divide us and work together. In recent weeks we have been reminded of how much unites us in this world and we have witnessed the sheer beauty of the human spirit.

A NIGHT AS A FLOOR DWELLER IN SINGAPORE AIRPORT

July 6, 2018 by

Some days ago I needed to make a quick trip out of Indonesia in order to renew my visa and so decided to stay overnight in Singapore Airport. I used my time to good effect. I spent considerable time walking between the various terminals before choosing a good spot to settle down and sleep. My night was an interesting one. I was impressed by the level of friendliness I experienced among the good number of people who, like me, were spending the night on a comfy bit of floor. I was lucky…I was in a place where I was free and safe to sleep. I thought about those who sleep on the streets and who know what it is to be cold and afraid. I thought about those who cry themselves to sleep because of being separated from their loved ones or because tomorrow promises only suffering and pain. May we all do what we can so that no one has to sleep on the street or alone in detention centres or in dread of what tomorrow will bring.

Faith and JOY

July 4, 2018 by

Last weekend I was at the Brightlights Festival in Alton Castle, UK. It is a Catholic Youth Festival held each year. Here are some highlights to give you a flavour! Maybe you would like to come along next year?!

SHARING THE JOY OF A LOVELY FEAST

June 18, 2018 by

Recent days here in Yogyakarta have been so lovely. We have all been blessed by the celebration of Idul Fitri, the day that marks the end of Ramadan. The day before Idul Fitri we gave out parcels to our neighbours. That evening prayers rang out from the mosque turning all of our thoughts to God. It was touching to hear the voices of children from time to time. We spent Friday morning walking round the village wishing our neighbours a happy Idul Fitri and making mutual apologies for any mistakes made in the last year. A beautiful atmosphere of peace and calm has pervaded the village for the last four days.  How lovely to celebrate this special feast with our Muslim neighbours.

THE JOY OF REUNION…

June 13, 2018 by

Several days ago I travelled back to Yogyakarta by plane. Most of the travellers were women who worked abroad and were coming home to celebrate Idul Fitri with their families. It was touching to hear some of their stories. Some of the women hadn’t been home for several years and were longing to see their loved ones again. Many tears were shed as the women met their families. It was so good to be there and to witness the beauty of family love so vividly expressed in the excitement and joy of families newly reunited.

Rejoice and be Glad: Where do you find security?

June 8, 2018 by

blessed-are-the-poor-in-spirit1

In reflecting on this beatitude in Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be glad) Pope Francis asks the question “where do we find our security?”

Building security for ourselves, making our own ground stable gives us the freedom to stop focussing on ourselves and to focus outwards to others, but as with most things it has a flip side – the security itself can become our idol – so that we become so fearful of anyone or anything disturbing our security that we are no longer open to others.

Pope Francis likens the spirit of this beatitude to the Ignatian understanding of Inner Freedom – to become free and not enslaved by wealth, possessions, securities etc so as to be open to the presence of God in our everyday life and experience.

 

PRAYING THE ROSARY WITH OUR NEIGHBOURS

June 3, 2018 by

Recently in our Basic Ecclesial Community we closed the month of May in great style. It was the last of the nightly rosaries that had taken place in a different family each evening. There were forty of us, including seven children. The children led us through the rosary. One of them led the prayers and the others took turns to read an introduction to each mystery. Following the prayer we had a delicious supper together. It was simply beautiful – a lovely way of being part of the Universal Church.