Winter 2020

Isolating, but at what cost …

There is no denying, we are in a time of darkness. To ignore the global suffering would be to ignore reality. To deny the emotions created by this suffering would be called ‘toxic positivity,’ what the Macquarie Dictionary blog listed as a word to watch in April and is to force oneself “into a happy mood regardless of the situation, to the point of denying your real emotions.”

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The instinct to survive

Since antiquity, epidemics have spread along trade routes and even more swiftly and dramatically in an age of globalisation. Despite the devastation, humanity has learned to overcome. When the Black Death struck in 1349 it wiped out nearly half of Sienna’s population in Italy, leaving the walls of its new cathedral standing. Today, still unfinished, the walls have been absorbed as part of the cathedral’s history.

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At home with the masses

I’m a church-every-Sunday kind of person. When I travel, I look up local Mass times. I know where to go if I need Mass at an awkward time; like really early (7:30am St Francis Xavier’s) or really late (8pm St Augustine’s). My family might not be the best-dressed or the most well-behaved, but we turn up, and, being two adults and six children, we help make the numbers. If I do miss Mass for some reason, I feel out-of-sorts all week.

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An Infectious Smile

I was in total isolation for 14 days, alone in the unit adjacent to our community at Kogarah in Sydney. I had returned from a 10-day visit to the Philippines. Many images remain with me of my recent trip. There was the stop-over in Singapore and a visit to the magnificent new Novena Church. The church was in lock down and it was my first understanding of COVID-19. With plenty of distance between us, Fr Eugene Lee showed me the breathtaking interior of this national shrine.

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