Well it is all over now but last week was a very uplifting week seeing so many young people from all over the world come together to celebrate their faith. Here in Ballina the masses were spectacular and very spiritually uplifting for the locals. We Australians seem to have lost the ability to demonstrate our enthusiasm and joy when we are in public. The pan pipes leading us out of Mass
I was particularly excited by the young Solomon Islanders playing their pan pipes with such abandon. They jigged and smiled but at the same time were very reverent. The Korean girls did a wonderful liturgical dance that silenced us all for a long time after they finished – it was so gentle, and holy and graceful that we all knew what they were expressing so quietly, even though we didn’t understand the words of the choir.
We hosted the Archbishop of Vienna here in Ballina. He is rumored to be a front runner to be next Pope – he just laughed at the story. He gave a nice homily and seemed genuinely happy to be in such a small town in Australia. I didn’t get the chance to tell him I had visited his cathedral. It was another lovely gesture when the Viennese pilgrims glided up the stairs to our choir loft to help out singing the hymns! It certainly improved the quality. Rose was here for the last Mass and we all crammed in to a crowded church for a long but inspiring Mass.
I was so excited and relieved to hear Ally and Joe were going to go with Bill to Sydney for the final Mass. Ally has given that story in her blog. I watched the story of Joseph Ratzinger on Sunday night and found it very interesting. I have come to appreciate and respect our new Pope. I hope our children and theirs come to appreciate the importance of spirituality in their lives in a practical way. I have decided to do something about it – this week I signed up for a certificate course in Theology!