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Lessons from the man at the bus stop who wanted to end his life

Mother Teresa

WAITING for the 8.18pm bus in the CBD I was reading a novel when “Jack” approached me asking how long until the next bus, “Twenty-five minutes to go,” I said. “Ah, right,” he paused, then said, “sometimes it’s so hard to keep on going I feel like ending it (mentioning a suicide method).” In that moment I had a choice – keep on reading and pretend I hadn’t heard his last comment or actively listen. I ... Read More »

Holiness is an adventure

Dominican choir

“BUT are they being formed for the real world?” This was a question apparently posed to one of our friars by a parishioner after Mass a few weeks ago. We are “they” – the student friars studying theology and philosophy, undertaking various forms of pastoral work and generally undergoing the Dominican order’s process of formation. This question provoked rather a ... Read More »

The heart of what we seek

Dominicans prostrate for First Professions

BROTHER Christian and I made our first profession a few weeks ago, during Mass on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. At the very beginning of the Rite of Profession, having thrown ourselves prostrate, cruciform on the floor – with noses pressed firmly into the carpet before our eyes – the provincial asked a very simple question: “What do ... Read More »

Presentation Sister Carmel Hodgkinson has given a lifetime of service to God’s children

Sr Carmel Hodgkinson

SHE danced before taking a step. That’s what Presentation Sister Carmel (Jean Marie) Hodgkinson knows about her early years. “My parents said I’d hold onto the bar near the radio and bounce, up and down, to the beat,” the sprightly 76-year-old said from Holy Spirit Home, Carseldine, in Brisbane’s north. “I’ve got rhythm, I’ve always had it.” The toe-tapping sister ... Read More »

Fr Francis Ching, the priest who can’t read

Legally blind priest Fr Francis Ching

MASS etiquette suggests Catholics turn off or silence their mobile device before entering the church, but that rule doesn’t apply to Canadian priest Fr Francis Ching. Every time the 45-year-old Chinese-born priest celebrates Mass, or when it’s time to say his prayers of the Office, the iPad is on and right at his fingertips. Without it, Fr Francis couldn’t fulfil ... Read More »

Retiring midwife shares privilege of being with others for moments of life and death

Beth and Samantha

MIDWIFE Beth Burt has been at countless births over more than three decades, but she’s also seen many deaths, and she feels privileged about every one of those experiences. Finishing up at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital after more than 37 years and heading towards retirement, she’s been thinking back over those times with gratitude. “We (midwives) always say – and I ... Read More »

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