Friday, October 15, 2010

More random photos for you...

Michael and Courtney sampling huge Roman donuts. Courtney doesn't even like donuts - but this one was delicious - I wonder if it was the surroundings?
Michelle Emmett from Young. She just arrived from Paris to meet up with us.
Does this say don't walk on the grass? Oh well, too late.
Trinity College Goulburn - err Rome ( I think it was a bar).

Tales from Wednesday's Papal audience

Margie and Yvonne were the advance guard to reserve the seat for the group, leaving the hotel at 7.15am – thank you girls – you are all wonderful. I had a tiny sleep in.  Margie said that no-one had told her waterproof mascara was a must for the Papal Audience. It was a truly emotional experience.

 Bishop Mark gave a book to His Holiness from ACU, In the Land of Larks and Heroes: Australian Reflections on St Mary MacKillop. He mentioned he was here with the pilgrims from Canberra and Goulburn. The Pope then asked him to extend to the pilgrims and their families his personal greetings and the Apostolic Blessing. What a gift!

We went to the Irish College – Pontificio Collegio Irlandese – which, as the book says, you can recognise by the two palms trees flanking the iron gates of the entrance. This is where Mary MacKillop found great assistance from Monsignor Tobias Kirby, who offered her spiritual direction and assistance in obtaining access to the Pope. It was a deeply significant place in the formation of the Rule of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.

Archbishop Mark celebrated Mass in the chapel with the only Australian student there at the moment, Paul from Perth. Many of our Australian bishops have studied at the college over many years. It is greatly important in our Australian Church history. The chapel had the most magnificent mosaics gracing the walls, as you can see from the photos.

Then dinner was enjoyed at a restaurant well known to the Archbishop, off the Piazza Navona. It was a delightful experience of real Roman cuisine.

After Papal Audience: Thomas, Michael, Bishop Mark, Nev, Herbie, Heidi, Charlotte, Courtney, Caitlin & Toots.

Last lot of Tuesday stories, I promise

Michael still hasn't got the hang of the Trevi Fountain.
On Tuesday Bishop Mark played tour guide for the group who stayed in Rome. The highlight for Kevin was the tomb of Raphael as his father was named after this great painter and sculptor.
They also went to the Castle of St Angelo with its display of swords, armory and cannons. For Kevin the rusting Balista in the courtyard was a thrill. Pope Clement the 7th fled to the Castle from St Peter’s following the sack of Rome. So many of the Swiss Guards were killed that they commemorate that day in May 1527 each year.

Assisi: a photogenic town.
A small group ventured by train to Assisi for the day. Nev Taylor of Rivett said the scenery was absolutely stunning. The town is settled on the top of the hill and the surrounding countryside has groves of olives and grapevines.
Herbie O’Flynn said the Basilica of St Claire contained the Cross of Christ from which Christ spoke to St Francis saying “Rebuild my Church”. Herbie was touched by a time of contemplation in the stillness and mystery of the place. He and Lynn both agreed this is a place of extra ordinary peace.
Charlotte and Heidi said they loved walking through the small narrow streets of Assisi and loved the churches.

Ancient history students at Pompeii.

The Trinity Community travelled all day to Naples and Pompeii.
The highlight of the day was the history, the pain, the passion and the extraordinary preservation of the place.

Richard Ceasar-Thwaytes went to the Cat Refuge on the free day Tuesday. It is said that Cleopatra who was very fond of cats gave a cat to Caesar as a gift. But alas he was allergic to cats. The Vatican Museum has in its exhibition this wonderful mummified cat - who would have thought? Richard is thoroughly enjoying the experience.
The cat mummy!

Reponses to the Footsteps of Mary Pilgrimage

 Maureen Clancy of Trinity Catholic College Goulburn said it was the highlight so far. She now feels very close to Mother Mary of the Cross. "It made me start to understand the strength, faithfulness and absolute trust in God for all her needs. The other thing that excites me about Mary’s story is the role of her Jewish friend, Joanna Barr-Smith. This was a woman who could trust Mary enough that Joanna could offer support to Mary and help her carry out her work."
The thing that continually strikes Colin Groves is the immensity of what simple people can achieve with the help of God. "She was a woman of her time, controversial. I cannot get over how this woman could have arrived with a box and a mission that we will soon celebrate as the Universal Church. The love that Mary saw for Jesus in the Eucharist was greater than the beauty she saw around her in Rome."
Caitlin Nye: MacKillop women are strong women as they persevere and achieve great things. As a relative of Mary MacKillop it is evident that her wisdom, bravery, courage and perseverance is shown throughout all MacKillop women.
For Shirley Topp the last few days have been filled with amazing spiritual experiences. "We followed the steps of Mary MacKillop today and with Sister Rita Malavisi rsj reading the thoughts of Mary MacKillop's journal, our lives have been transformed. My life will never be the same after hearing and reflecting on the journey of Mary MacKillop's life."
Mark has found keeping up with Mary MacKillop in Rome quite arduous; an experience giving us a small insight into her own difficulties while she was here. “The opportunities today to pray together on the walk has been the most rewarding on the Pilgrimage so far.”
Anne Marie Steinke: “The acts of simple kindness given and received along the way have left a mark that will forever remain in the heart. That by listening and caring for each other, we like Mary are called to be the human expression of God’s love in our world today.”

Charlotte with Fr Michael Kelly.

Walking in Mary's footsteps

The spiritual blessings were tangible this morning and a really privileged time for us. We were the first group to do “The Footsteps of Mary MacKillop”. We were the guinea pigs!

Channel Nine captured the Mass.
We started the day with Mass. Archbishop Mark said in his homily that Mary of the Cross had suffered greatly from the distress of isolation when she came to Rome. She was very attentive to the needs of her sisters, who also would have experienced the isolation of the bush, going where other had not gone to look after the little ones. We follow Mary through the Cross into the joy of the Easter Resurrection.

We walked the footsteps of Mary MacKillop from Termini Station to the Anglo Americano Hotel where she spent her first night in Rome.

Catechesis by Sr Anne in St Stanislus Kostka's room.
We then went on to Sant’ Andrea al Quirinale and the tomb of St Stanislaus Kostka, a 17 year old Polish saint whose life greatly impressed Mary and John-Paul II. Mary was very close to the Jesuits whose house this was. The Jesuits helped her in both Rome and Australia.

We then walked to the Church of Sant’ Agata dei Goti where she often prayed and also visited Monsignor Kirby. Then we went to the Convent of San Tommaso where she lived for her time in Rome. Along each of these places Sr Rita gave us a reading from Mary MacKillop’s letters and journal, presented a reflection, and gave us a sacred space of 10 minutes silence.

It was a very moving experience for us all. We were all really blessed by the journey set out by the Sisters for all the pilgrims who come to Rome for Mary’s Canonisation.