Early influences in my life
- My mother’s great love for Our Lady. As a baby she had me consecrated to Our Lady and promised to dress me in blue for the first seven years of my life.
- My father’s family numbered many religious and priests.
- The FCJ community at Vaucluse, Richmond when I was a boarder for seven years. I liked what I observed in their daily living.
My first religious experience was very structured and regulated. Among other things there were set times for prayer, meditation, spiritual reading, recreation, confession every week and a monthly day of recollection. Most of this changed with the second Vatican Council. It seemed as though the ‘doing’ became more important than the ‘being’ and took precedence over prayer life in many instances. The responsibility became ours and this required self- discipline.
Always, the Ignatian approach to prayer appealed to me: Seeing God in all things, particularly nature, and taking on the persona of people in the Gospel stories.
My apostolic ministry saw me mostly with primary school students as a teacher and in administration. In mid-life I was privileged to be missioned to the Kimberley in Western Australia where I became acquainted with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters and their culture. These eight years are a precious memory for me.
My present ministry is in a country parish where I am happily engaged in taking communion to hospital patients, visiting the house-bound, being a chaplain to our Faith and Light community (an off shoot of L’Arche) and volunteering to work in the parish office once a week.
Now, in my ageing years, my prayer is: