This week we were fortunate to welcome a delightful group of 14 young Australian students, from four different colleges in Melbourne. Three teachers accompanied them, plus our sr Mary Reaburn who co-ordinated the pilgrimage. This pilgrimage in the Holy Land was part of the preparation for most of these young students who will study “Text and Traditions” in their respective colleges in the coming year.
Just being in their presence was so refreshing, their enthusiasm and readiness to share with each other and on one occasion with us was an absolute joy. On the Saturday evening we joined the group for their Sunday Eucharist in the Lithostrotos, presided over by Fr. Jim Green-a White Father and neighbor on the via Dolorosa. He was able to tune into where these young people were at. It was a beautiful Liturgy for Gaudete Sunday –joy it was – the girls appreciated Jim and he stayed for supper and most of the evening, so the girls were able to discuss more about the celebration of the Eucharist and what it had meant for them. After the main course we invited the group to St. Mary’s, not too spacious but we all crowded in and the joy of the evening continued. Before serving dessert the young women shared a little about what this experience in the Holy Land had meant for them. It was so profound and very moving, we felt privileged to have been part of what was truly a gift for us. We, as community, shared a little of our ministry here in Ecce Homo and in Jerusalem.
It was a truly blessed and memorable evening and gave us great hope in our young women and the possibilities for the future. Many times during our morning prayer this week we have given thanks for such a privilege of having been touched by their lives as well as deep appreciation of the teachers who accompanied these beautiful young Melbourne ambassadors.
Congratulations Mary Reaburn nds, on your initiative to dare to encourage and bring a small group of students and their teachers to make this pilgrimage and to study “the Gospel of Luke in the Land”.
St. Mary’s Community
Ecce Homo, Jerusalem