Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reflections on an Awesome experience

Sr Kathy and Michael

"Spiritual adventure, pilgrimage and friendship." - Sr Kathy Hodge

"A once in a lifetime experience of faith, hope and love in celebration of an extraordinary woman."

"So much easier to pray with a group of like-minded pilgrims in such beautiful places." - Mark Oakley
Richard Caesar-Thwaytes, Herbie,
Fr Richard and Lynn after the Thanksgiving

"Here we were able to face some of the roots of our faith – renewing, spiritual and deeply touching. To be with Companions on the Journey was uplifting. Thank you to Bishop Mark for his relaxed sharing and leadership." - Lyn O’Flynn

Miranda and Kevin

 "What an unbelievable experience! And wonderful new friends. All unforgettable!" - Eileen Stack

"Singing Waltzing Matilda in an ancient Roman building with 8,000 rowdy Aussies. (And the 35 new friends I’ve made!)" - Charlotte King 

 "Fantastic experience that will never be forgotten. Wonderful people and great atmosphere. We from Trinity College have all had a wonderful and memorable time, full of adventure and pilgrimage."

Anne Maria and Stephania

"Anne & Peter’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil receives an 8-1/2 from a fair dinkum italiano expert. Wobbler Downs Olive Oil Rules. Available at Gundagai – Bulley Bell and Temora, Jugiong!!!!!" - Anne Maria  Skeinke

Caitlin, Charlotte, Mark, Heidi and Miranda
waiting proudly for the declaration Australia's new Saint

 "Sharing in the celebration of the Eucharist each day with so many people. The Thanksgiving Mass, celebrated in a foreign land, surrounded by Australian pilgrims, was breathtaking." - Stephanie Leonard

On the way back after morning Mass at the local parish church

"Swanky. The emotion and experience of the pilgrimage was beyond belief." - Mark Burke

Stephanie and Marguerite

"Today! Standing on top of St Peter’s, in the dome, knowing Mary MacKillop’s banner was underneath proudly displayed for all to see; an Australian …… down over Rome in prime spot." - Marguerite 

Wendy, Archbishop Mark and Mark

"The sense of community among the pilgrims. Shared prayer and shared prayerful experiences forged a bond between us; it feels like I will never “lose” my companions." - Wendy Fisher-Hudson

Cathy and Karen

"The Thanksgiving Mass. A truly Australian celebration as we take part with the great universal Church." - Colin Groves

 "The concert on Saturday evening brought me to tears. Seeing familiar faces in an unfamiliar place. Realising how great an impact the Srs of St Joseph had in my life."

We have had a wonderful experience together. 35 people came together from the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese to celebrate the life of an extraordinary woman. That woman has changed each of our lives, has brought us to a place where we have had a deeply meaningful experience of Church.

I found each day of the pilgrimage built on the one before. We were privileged to have access to some extraordinary places. We made beautiful friendships. We laughed, cried, sang, sheltered in the rain, queued, worshiped and ate gelato together. We prayed for our loved ones, were blessed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and we carry this blessing back to Australia.

We witnessed and celebrated the Canonisation of our first Australian Saint Mary MacKillop of the Cross. We have done what we came to do and we are overjoyed. We thank the Good Lord for this marvellous opportunity and we thank you our family, loved ones and work colleagues for giving us this opportunity.