Category: Comings and goings

Lourdes, France

Lourdes, France

A while back I was asked if I would accompany a pilgrimage next year as chaplain.  The costings for the Our Lady of the Rosary Pilgrimage, departing Monday 22 September 2014 for 28 days, are now available.  See the links below.

The pilgrimage will visit Paris, Rouen, Lisieux, Chartres, Nevers, Paray-Le-Monial, Rocamadour, Lourdes, Torreciudad, Zaragoza, Loyola, San Sebastian de Garabandal, Santiago de Compostela, Fatima, Avila, Alba de Tormes, and Madrid.

We will be in Fatima on October 13, the anniversary of the miracle of the sun.  We will also be in Alba de Tormes, where St Teresa of Avila died, on her feast day.

More details in these attachments:


Booking form 2012 – 2013

UPDATE 22 Nov 13: See here.


Final hours in Chicago

After many times of transiting in Chicago O’Hare airport, yesterday I finally got to wander the streets of Chicago.

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I also got to try the famous Chicago deep-dish pizza … it was delicious!

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Soon after Mass this morning we’ll head to the airport so that I can commence the final leg of the journey home.  “The largest storm of the season so far” is predicted for today, but it doesn’t look too bad outside yet, and hopefully will stay that way.

The day has finally arrived, and I am now on my way home.  The last week has been a whirlwind of good-byes.  It’s been sad saying farewell to so many who’ve been part of my Ottawa time.

Ottawa turned on the snow for my last day here which was nice!  It will make the comparison with the summer heat in Brisbane all the more real!

I’m currently at Ottawa airport, en route to Chicago for two nights, then on to Brisbane on Thursday via LA and Sydney.  I land on Saturday.

January 5th is my official start date of my new duties as Associate Judicial Vicar to the Regional Tribunal, and as Priest in Residence at Saint Bernardine’s, Browns Plains.  The Browns Plains role means I live there, and assist with all the weekend duties and other things during the week that my timetable will allow.

See some of you very soon!

I can now provide an actual answer to the above question!

With his letter of 14 November 2012, Archbishop Coleridge has appointed me as Associate Judicial Vicar to the Regional Tribunal of Brisbane, and also Priest in Residence in Saint Bernardine’s Parish, Browns Plains.  The appointment to Browns Plains will include weekend Masses and other duties depending on my availability.

Both appointments are for three years, effective 5 January 2013.

Saint Bernardine’s, Regents Park

I am excited to be on the threshold of this next phase of things for me.   I’m looking forward to putting into practice what I’ve been studying over here in Ottawa.  And I’m also very much looking forward to getting to know the people of Browns Plains Parish in the coming years, as I assist Father Francis Nguyen, the pastor there.

But what I am very excited about is that I will soon be home!

One month from today I fly out of Ottawa.

Oh, happy day …

… almost!

I can happily report that my flights are booked, and I’ll arrive home in Brisbane, for good, on Saturday 22 December 2012!

Home in time for Christmas.

My monastic month

The monastic refectory at Mepkin Abbey, South Carolina

I’ve just uploaded five sets of photos to Flickr from August when I had my month at Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina as a monastic guest.  Mepkin is a monastery of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance (OCSO), who used to be [and still commonly are] known as Trappists.  Mepkin is a daughter-house of Gethsemani Abbey, in Kentucky, where Thomas Merton was a monk.

I had originally planned to visit Mepkin during my sabbatical time which I was due for about 2010.  My sabbatical got “upgraded” to canon law studies, so my other sabbatical plans got shelved.  This past [North American] summer I thought I’d use the break time to visit Mepkin as I had originally planned since I had the time.  I figured that it might be the last time that I’d have the luxury to do this for some time.

It’s not so easy to find a monastery that you can stay in for more than a few days at a time, but I did find Mepkin.  Their monastic guest programme allows men to stay for a month, and to essentially share the life of the monks, doing everything that they do.  Obviously it is one way to assist those considering a monastic vocation, but the monastic guest programme is open even to those who aren’t looking to enter the monastery (like myself).

My time at Mepkin was very spiritually fruitful, and – I might add – very affirming of my secular vocation!  It was particularly nice to spend time in a community of the same Order in which I was a novice ten years ago (at Tarrawarra Abbey, in Melbourne, Australia).

You can see the photos here.

Back in Ottawa

I arrived back in Ottawa on Monday evening and our classes resume this morning.  That means that I have just a little over three months until I’ve finished my licentiate in canon law and will be returning to Brisbane!  Not long now …

The Canon Law Conference in La Crosse was excellent.  My confreres in the Brisbane Tribunal will be interested to know that Bill Daniel gave an excellent talk that dealt with – among other things – the ex officio changing of the formulation of the doubt.  The other talks were similarly topical and helpful.  There was, once again, a good representation of us from Saint Paul University, Ottawa.

Pictured with Cardinal Burke is the contingent from Saint Paul University, Ottawa, participating in the Canon Law Conference, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1-2 August 2012.

I’m currently transiting in Chicago on my way to South Carolina, where I’ll be staying with the Cistercian monks at Mepkin Abbey until the beginning of September, until I return to Ottawa for the beginning of classes.

Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wisconsin

This morning I head to the airport to journey to Wisconsin for a canon law conference at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La CrosseRaymond Leo Cardinal Burke [Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura], Bishop Salvatore Cordileone [newly appointed Archbishop of San Francisco], Dr. Kurt Martens, and Mr. William Daniel will speak on such timely topics as: Religious Liberty, Nullity of Marriage Process, Suppression/Mergers of Parishes, and much more.  It’ll also be great to see some of my confreres again after our “summer” break.

Inside the Church at Mepkin Abbey, South Carolina

On  Friday morning I continue the journey to South Carolina.  For the rest of the month I will be staying with the Cistercians at Mepkin Abbey.  I’m very much looking forward to a monastic month, and by the end of it, I should be able to tell you a whole lot more about growing mushrooms (part of the income-producing work of the Mepkin community).  I was, once-upon-a-time, a Cistercian postulant and novice, and I have a great love of the Benedictine Rule and the way of life based on it.  I find that it’s always a great blessing to be able to spend time in a monastery, and am eagerly awaiting arriving there on Friday.  If you could say a prayer that it’s a good retreat I’d be most appreciative, and I’ll be praying for you too.

I am unlikely to have much (or any) internet access until I return to Ottawa in the first week of September for the resumption of classes – my final semester here in Ottawa.

I arrived safely back in my quasi-domicile of Ottawa late last night.  Thanks be to God, I made all my connections: Brisbane – Sydney – Los Angeles – Montreal – Ottawa.  That was the most connections I’ve had on the journey between Ottawa and Brisbane: normally it’s just two stops in between Brisbane and Ottawa.

After leaving winter in Brisbane, I returned to summer in Ottawa.  Thankfully I missed the heatwave that they had been having.  Today was just like a typical summer’s day in Brisbane – warm and slightly humid.

I took a stroll this afternoon to go to Mass, and concelebrated with the rector of the Cathedral.  It was nice to see many of the Cathedral “gang” again.

Some photos from today can be seen here (Flickr) or here (Facebook).

I head to the U.S. on Tuesday for the remainder of my summer break.