Home' Aurora : Aurora April 2012 Contents 16
Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle www.mn.catholic.org.au
Pupils of St Paul's Rutherford enjoying their new library. Here are
(l-r) Hollie Adamson, Mykenzie Rowe, Mia Crouch and Alexis Abela.
SEASONS OF LIFE
LYNN AND JOHN LANE are members
of the Catholic community of Morpeth
where they attend early Sunday
morning Mass. Like others, they take great
pleasure in gathering after Mass for a yarn.
Frequently the chat continued till it became
natural to share a coffee and continue the
conversations at cafés in the main street of
this historic town.
So began the evolution of the 'Cs'; church
and coffee were the first. It was a
fortunate discovery that others shared
Lynn and John's enthusiasm for travel
as well as their faith. Favourite haunts,
previous destinations and scenic spots
frequently entered their discussions.
John adds, "Then we found we had a
common interest in caravans." Another
'C' was added.
This small group decided to share
a few days at Little Beach Port
Stephens. John says, "They did their
own thing during the day, then later in
the afternoon brought our chairs together
and told yarns, had nibbles and drinks. We
really enjoyed that."
The experience was so positive that they
planned another get-together; a week away
at Kiama. There were four friends with
caravans. Naturally, not everyone has a van,
so a few decided to join the group but stay
in cabins. Another 'C' was added.
Their week in Kiama was significant. One of
the couples hoped to visit the Benedictine
Monastery at Jamberoo, of ABC's The
Abbey fame. All were enthusiastic; they
spent Saturday afternoon at the abbey,
meeting Sr Mechtild, a former Josephite
Sister who worked in the Maitland area
before her new life at the monastery.
She invited them back to 7.30am Mass
the following day. Lynn says, "It was an
incredible experience. I was amazed by the
chapel, floor to ceiling glass overlooking
the Jamberoo valley." A shock for John was
that Chaplain Fr Paul Gurr presided at Mass.
John and Fr Paul were in the same class at
Marist Brothers Maitland!
Lynn says, "There was another aspect
to Kiama; we are now spreading our
interests to other beliefs." The group had
an unforgettable visit to the Nan Tien
Buddhist Temple. John adds, "It was our
first experience with Buddhism, we met
some of the nuns and visited all three of
the main temples."
Both John and Lynn stress that this is an
informal assembly, "It's very loose, a laid
back arrangement." The group decides on
a rough time period and location, those
who are free join the trip, while others
have commitments, some still work, or are
simply unable to join that particular journey.
Numbers fluctuate and attendees change
with each expedition. They also emphasise
that not all fellow travellers are Catholic,
and some are single. They add that there is
no strict structure; some spend their time
in an armchair reading, while others take
day trips. Anyone is welcome to join them; it
is not a closed group.
Their next journey is to Mudgee in June,
where golf and wine tasting are on the
agenda, as well as visiting the goldfields
of Hill End and Sofala. They already have
a convoy for that trip, both caravans and
cabin stayers. Could another 'C' be added
to the count?
John proudly says, "One of the side effects
which is very positive, we do get a real
sense of belonging, of being part of a
family." They aim for possibly two trips each
year, which are discussed as usual at the
café over coffee and occasional brunch
after Sunday Mass.
The final 'C' count? Church, coffee,
caravans, cabins, convoy and community.
It's certainly growing!
Susan Macleod (far right) was guest speaker at the diocesan celebration of International Women's Day,
supported by school friends (l-r) Lyn Harris, Anne Marshall, Erma Fitzgerald and Liz Askew.
(l-r) President of the Federation of Parents and Friends, Karen
Christie; Director of Catholic Schools, Ray Collins; Bishop Bill Wright
and Family-Parish Liaison Officer, Helene O'Neill at the Federation's
Family Fun Day.
Lynn and John take a break.
Participants in the Rite of Election who will be received into the Catholic Church at Easter gathered at Sacred
Heart Cathedral with Bishop Bill.
(l- r) Brett Leslie of Edgeworth, Samuel Bradley of West Wallsend and Sam Casey of
Barnsley attended the opening of Mums' Cottage (see page 7).
By TRISH BOGAN
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