Scenes from the first day in Sydney

Scenes from the first day in Sydney
D, the Opera House, and the Bridge

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sam the Koala, Celibacy, and Mildura

This is Sam, the Koala. She was rescued by firefighters in the region of Victoria, one of many animals saved from the wildfires. Cute, no?

Some odds and ends... we just finished a week-long workshop exploring themes related to sexuality, celibacy, sex abuse, and the graces/challenges of chaste friendship. I know, sounds a bit odd for priests to be talking about sex. Actually, it was a really worthwhile time-- valuable for us as middle aged men facing the challenges of living celibacy for the next 30-40 years, and very valuable for ministry to people.
Next week, we move on to the topic of cultural diversity- another important topic for us as we engage the complex reality of globalization, a culturally diverse church, and the challenges of negotiating differences.

Also, we're beginning to discuss our apostolic assignments after the Spiritual Exercises. As part of our work, we're sent to various rural areas to offer retreats, and I found out today that I'll be sent to the town of Mildura in Victoria. This is an area north of the wildfires, a ways northeast of Adelaide. From what I understand, it is a town in a fertile produce growing region, located on the Murray river. I have yet to get more details, but it is going to be fun exploring another part of the country.

Lastly, I found out this evening at dinner about the tragic plane crash just outside of Buffalo. The town of Clarence is actually where one of my closest friends and his family are from... 49 people killed.

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