The fifth production of the Catholic Schools’ ASPIRE Performing Arts program certainly lived up to its aim for the students involved to aspire to higher levels of performance in their various performing arts disciplines.
I imagine many of you have been connecting into the coverage of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. I also realise that there will be differing opinions on the purpose and outcome for this event and certainly the cost to the host country. I am conscious of those who have been displaced from their lives living in the favelas.
This week, our World Youth Day Pilgrims will return to the normality of life after was has been just on four weeks of amazing experiences as the young and the “vintaged” from our diocese and from Melbourne and Sydney took part in an inter-generational pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland.
I hope you have taken the time to read the good news of our WYD pilgrims, who have joined the millions with Pope Francis for WYD in Krakow. I have certainly enjoyed reading about their journey in the Footsteps of the Saints, and seeing the great joy depicted in the many photographs, video blogs and Instagram messages.
One of my lasting memories of the 2008 World Youth Day was the sense of joy that existed both in our diocese and in Sydney during the week long celebrations there. I distinctly recall two runners on their lunchtime jog through Hyde Park commenting on the atmosphere created by the "invasion" of hundreds of thousands of young people from across the world.
If you have ever attended a celebration of our Eucharist at which Bishop Bill presides, you may be struck by how, at the end of the Eucharistic prayer, he brings us to pray the Our Father. He almost always breaks it open with some relevant contemplative words. It is as if each time he prays this prayer and invites us to pray it, there is some new emerging meaning to this prayer. I find this amazing and therefore respond to his invitation to pray this traditional prayer with a renewed heart.
Our sense of peace has once again been rocked by intentional acts of violence in France and Turkey. And as I write this message on Sunday 17 July, we remember the second anniversary of the shooting down of aircraft MH17 over the Ukraine in which 298 passengers were killed.