Three Masses (and a supper), all the continents

Merciful like the Father (Spanish)
During this first visit to Australia, invited by the archdiocese of Melbourne, Fr Giorgio Massa IMC and myself are being hosted by the Marist Brothers. On the very first Sunday and last weekend we were invited to preside the celebration of the Eucharist in different parishes and share about our service in the diocese of Manzini (Swaziland).

The very first Mass (as I shared in the previous post) was celebrated with the African community with families coming mainly from South Sudan.

Saturday evening instead we met the Spanish speaking community at St Brigid's Parish: mostly young people from South America and most of them from Colombia and Venezuela. As I told them, it felt strange to be celebrating Mass in Spanish in Australia!

We did not have much time after Mass but it was a blessing to meet some of them, share their stories, dreams and concerns as they came to greet me and ask for a blessing. They share what brought them to Australia and how grateful they were at the way this country welcomed them. They were surprised at knowing I lived in Colombia for four and a half years and knew the places where they were coming from. They also laughed when I told them they were probably not yet born when I was there. It brought back great memories.

We were invited for supper at an Argentinean restaurant. It was six of us born... in six different countries: Italy, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and, of course, Australia. A brother, four priests and a bishop. Serving in Australia and Swaziland!

Madonna di Monte Berico
at St Brigid's
Sunday morning we were welcomed by Fr Pat at St Joseph's (West Brunswick) as part of the Jubilee of Mercy. We shared the homily with Brother Mark O'Connor (Marist Brother) who heads the Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation. 

In this "normal" Mass, one could see and meet a diversity of people: from Italy, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and, of course, Australians!

Bishops are called not to just care for their own local church or diocese but for the whole Church. All these meetings add more and more people to the daily prayer and hopefully makes them pray for me too!