Sunday, 21 July 2013

Mass with Cardinal Pell

This week, all the students and staff from Sydney Catholic schools celebrated Mass with His Eminence Cardinal George Pell in a beautiful modern cathedral in Lima. It was held in a suburb called Miniflores - a part of Lima that until tonight we had not visited. As we approached the suburb, just for a moment I could have sworn I was driving into Manly! The coastline appeared around a sweeping bend and beautiful apartments and 4/5 star hotels had replaced the half-finished cement and brick houses and Spanish colonial facades of downtown Lima. Yet another Lima surprise. I saw two buildings that glittered and sparkled more brightly than anything else I had seen since being here, and I realised that they were casinos! There were prestige vehicles parked roadside and the incessant bip bip bipping of horns was much reduced. This was upmarket Lima.

The Mass was concelebrated by many of the priests accompanying pilgrim groups here in Peru. The cathedral was full of young people and was a lovely occasion..At its completion, we reboarded our buses, said our goodbyes to 'Lima Shores' and headed back to the hotel for our last night in Lima before jetting off the following morning to Cusco en route to the magical Inca city of Muchu Picchu. I know lots are people are really looking forward to seeing one of the ancient wonders of the world. I look forward to telling you about that.

Here's a few pics from the Mass. The one with Holy Spirit Lakemba teacher Marty Corcoran with the broom is a reference to Saint Marin De Porres, whose tomb we had visited the day before on our tour of the sacred sites of Lima. St Martin was an incredible humble man.. Once he was publicly acknowledged by the President of Peru for his extraordinary humanitarian work but he felt so aggrieved at being made such a fuss of by the President that he went back to his monastery and swept it from top to bottom to remind himself that he was no greater than the least of those he gave so much of his time to help. He was a damn good man St Martin. Some of the students suggested Mr Corcoran follow in St Martin's footsteps by sweeping the bus. As a sweeper, Marty Corcoran makes a great teacher.


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