Dear friends in Christ,
By the providence of God I recently had the blessing, through Harvest pilgrimages, of being chaplain to a group of pilgrims travelling to the Red Centre. Our journey began in Alice Springs and ended at Uluru. It was wonderful to go as pilgrims to the spiritual centre of Australia. The rock spoke to us of the grandeur of God, his everlasting faithfulness and the enduring quality of his love. I was intrigued by the number of young yuppies coming to the rock searching for some transcendent experience denied them in the banal emptiness of modern secularist society. It seemed a fertile field for evangelisation.
We had an opportunity on the way for interaction with Aboriginal people in the centre who shared their culture in a humble and joyful way. We got in touch with the original simplicity, richness and wisdom of their traditional way of life. A highlight was to gather and pray in Blatherskite Park at Alice Springs where Pope John Paul II said in his historic address to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, words yet to be fully realised: “The Church in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received”.
Blessings to you all,