Recently, I travelled from Hamilton to Sydney Central. Over the past 40 years, I have made this train trip more times than I wish to remember, but interestingly most of the significant events in my adult life have been prefixed by this trip south. I remember leaving home at the age of 19 to join the missionary Franciscan Order, which I pursued for some years until I felt God calling me elsewhere.
As Cyclone Fani tore through India’s Odisha state over the weekend, over one million people were evacuated to thousands of shelters. Tragically, despite effective planning and communication, over 40 deaths have been reported amid massive infrastructural damage.
‘You are Mission’ is a message for all of us. As Pope Francis writes in his World Mission Day message this year, ‘Every man and woman is a mission; that is the reason for our life on this earth…No one is so poor as to be unable to give what they have, but first and foremost what they are…Never think that you have nothing to offer, or that nobody needs you. Many people need you.’ (Message from Pope Francis for World Mission Day, Rome 2018).
It wasn't quite the delivery they are used to, but for Sister Mary Goretti and her small staff at St Luke Health Centre in Bujuni, it is one that will save hundreds of lives. The maternal health centre, located three hours from Kampala, can finally celebrate the arrival of its long-awaited ambulance, which supporters in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle helped to fund during last year's Catholic Mission Church and Schools Appeal.