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Thursday, 11 October 2018 07:00

Year of Youth Update #6

 YOY 6

Our team began September in the amazing opal mining town of Coober Pedy – one of the first places we visited in the Diocese of Port Pirie.  We were hosted by the generous and talented candle-maker priest, Fr Brian Mathews, and enjoyed checking out the opal mines and beautiful and unique scenery of the area.  

We settled into our new home in Whyalla, South Australia, and have been overwhelmed at the hospitality and efforts of Fr Jim and the Whyalla parish staff and parishioners, who have set up our new home and catered for us as we completed our Child Protection training over 2 days. 

For our Port Pirie mission we have added two new members to our team, welcoming MGLs Kathryn Kingsley and John Ighalo.  Our two new members have already injected our team with new enthusiasm, ideas and a freshness and excitement.  We are now a team of 11 and have the ability to break into smaller teams to minister in different places at the same time - what a blessing!

We really love our 'home base' - the teal blue waters of the Spencer Gulf, as well as the local gardens and community sports courts are just a few blocks away and we regularly spend our evenings dolphin watching and taking in the setting sun.  Recently we have been getting to know the parishioners and local priests, who have invited us out for dinner…and even taken us sailing!

Our ministry in our new Diocese has begun really well and we have hit the ground running with visits to Samaritan College (Whyalla), Caritas College (Port Augusta), St Mark’s College (Port Pirie) and St Joseph’s College (Port Lincoln) all happening in our first couple of weeks here.  In addition, we have had various events in each of these parishes, including welcome masses and dinners, youth events and prayer experiences as well as a Commissioning Mass with Bishop Greg at St Mark’s Cathedral in Port Pirie.

We have already seen so much of the Diocese, with trips to the Arid Plains Botanic Gardens in Pt Augusta, Coffin Bay National Park (near Pt Lincoln) and a night with the Slattery family on their farm near Crystal Brook taking place in and amongst our ministry.  We have been particularly struck by the friendliness of all those we have met and the extraordinary hospitality we have received!

Recently, some of our team spent the week in the Riverland, visiting schools and parishes in the towns of Barmera, Loxton, Berri, Renmark and Waikerie and spending time with the youth and young adults of this region.  Our whole team then spent the weekend attending Masses across the Riverland and enjoying ourselves at the Loxton Show and with our generous hosts, the Stavrou family.

Our next week will be spent preparing and running a youth camp for high school age young people in the Diocese, with a few days R&R in the Flinders Ranges before our Term 4 ministry re-commences in Whyalla and Port Augusta in Week 1.  Please keep our ministry in your prayers.  We have had a great time getting to know the youth and parishioners of the Port Pirie Diocese and can’t wait to see what the next two months has in store for us!