Saturday, February 21, 2009
A Visit to St. Canice's Parish in Kings Cross
Yes, this is a scene of the popular backyard "barbie," though there is not a shrimp to be found (they call them prawns here). Pictured is Brother Geoff Pearson, a Jesuit who teaches Religion and Mathematics at St. Ignatius College... doing a fabulous job with the chops.
Prior to entering the Jesuits, Geoff was an organizational and management consultant, but has primarily been teaching in what we would call secondary schools for the past eight years. Geoff and his community at St. Canice's Parish, Kings Cross, hosted our Tertian group this past Wednesday for a delightful barbie behind the parish house. Kings Cross is something like a cross between Greenwich Village and Amsterdam's redlight district, so the parish does a considerable amount of outreach to the folks in the area, ministering to the homeless, prostitutes, and new immigrants. The Australian branch of the Jesuit Refugee Service is also housed in the parish complex. JRS (http://www.jrs.org.au/) has been serving displaced peoples since 1980... really impressive.
Our group continued to explore the themes of cultural diversity and community life through the week, and thanks to Eileen Glass' gifted facilitation, we generated a number of ideas for promoting and deepening our common life, both while here in Australia in this temporary community and in the ones we will return to in the Fall.
Now we're beginning study of St. Ignatius' Autobiography, and the Jesuit Constitutions... foundational documents for us in the Society of Jesus. While these are things that the tertians have all read before, for many of us, we haven't given them much consideration since the Novitiate, between 15 and 20 years ago for many of us. For myself, it is a valuable exercise-- considering the experiences of Ignatius, and the intentions behind these core documents. More on all this later.
Finally, I had the chance to catch up on some of the movies nominated for Academy Awards... both Milk and The Reader were hard hitting and high quality, in my estimation.
Hope that you have a great weekend!