Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Last week...

I'm in my final seven days. I've adjusted the date I'm leaving to probably the 5th, I've got some loose ends to tie up, I need to speak to the bishop before I go about WYD, there was some stuff that went down that was inappropriate, and then to Centrelink about getting set up. I should have done it today, but I keep putting it off, I really hate that music they play!

I got the nicest letter from my favourite priest the other day saying goodbye. I got a little teary, which was embarrassing in front of my friend and her family! He gave me a $30 iTunes card too, which was nice. I've been working on goodbye letters to the priests today. I drove me nuts! I decided to hand write them (despite my terrible handwriting!) on really nice paper, and I kept stuffing it up. I wasted so much paper, but it's a labour of love. So make sure it was straight I put my lamp under my glass desk and a piece of lined paper underneath the nice paper. It was very helpful. I also put a Catholic sticker on each. I'm pretty proud of how they ended up. Now I just have to finish the and bit to go!

Monday, 26 December 2011


Lunch time!
Well, I had an interesting Christmas. Mum and I visited the bat hospital up the coast. Mum is a wildlife carer, her latest passion is fruit bats, they are really cute and very social animals. I had a couple try to grab on to me for a hug, Mum had about three climbing up her arm at one point. I also got to sit with one of the resident cockatoos, he's partly bald, he doesn't even have a crest. Poor little guy had beak and feather disease. He's re-growing the feathers though, and he loves pats. He lays his little head on your lap and lets you stroke him. He's such a cutie!

I went to four Masses over Christmas, and sung at two. Both the midnight Masses. There was one at the Carmelite's for the nuns at 9pm. It was a bit improv, because it was just a little choir, my friend, her family and me. It was fun though. Midnight Mass was back up in the choir loft at the Cathedral. We had a really cheesy responsory psalm, sung by a woman who insists singing like an opera singer....a bad opera singer. My friend's sister started laughing, and I had to look down to recompose myself, thankfully I was up the back! Our amazing bishop brought up abortion, homosexuality and contraception during his homily. It was fun to watch the women in front squirm. The 6pm Mass was aweful, all the submarine Catholics emerged and the Cathedral was stuffed, I was lucky to get a pew, I saw the regular Catholics pushed to the side pews that are used for Confession.. It was a bit awkward being the only one not using a 'cheat sheet' for the responses. I just wish the Cathedral was usually that full. At the Christmas morning Mass the bishop told us about how their used to be more than one Mass on Christmas morning. I was glad to be up the front, my Mum, friend and I lead the responses and postures, which was kinda fun.

Yesterday I slept pretty much all day. I feel so refreshed!

Cat android

I'm glad to see Data is a cat person/android too ^_^

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

I'm 50 minutes late >.>

I'm off to bed, but I'll tell you about my day tomorrow :D

Friday, 23 December 2011

New desktop...

Ruben's is my favourite artist. I love how every one of his paintings was an action scene, the movement is always so beautiful. I also really like his women, not very graceful, always a little chubby, but with beautiful curves. He was also Catholic, which is always a plus.

I've picked a new desktop, the Assumption.

I really love the look on John's face in particular. All the other Apostles are freaking out, but he just has an expression of silent awe, and I think acceptance... "Oh course the Lord would do that."

Pope pictures

I want to have a picture of the Pope for when I move, just coz I love him so much ^_^. I want a not-so-official-looking one, one where he looks happy. I was thinking this one.


Or maybe...

More packing...

I've all covered in dust and feeling slightly creeped out by how may spiders there are under my bed (one....that I can see >.>). I found some really cool pictures I drew, and most importantly my baptism certificate and some photos, just as proof that I'm Catholic I suppose.

God creating Adam

Random picture I did when I was living on my own a couple of years was actually a big jump forward in my technique.

My baptism certificate...the decoration is a little cheesy and modern, but it does say "fed with the body and blood of Christ', nothing watered down!
A lady who moved from my parish ages ago took this for me, I'm so blessed that she did, none of the other photos are this clear.

Christmas preparations

Today was busy, especially since I got up so late. I've been making chocolate, ginger and almond parcels for my friends and the priests. Wrapping them. Running out of wrapping paper. Finishing off the Next Generation series. Working on Fr Nicolas' going-away gift. Plotting my Mum's present and staring at my dress which still needs to be finished. This has been my most stressful Christmas and inbetween it all I've been vowing to be more organised next year.

However, most importantly, I've been making more time to pray. I've kinda sucked at it, not praying mornings most days and forgetting the Angelus at noon. This is the first year that I've really put effort into maintaining the 'little Lent' that Advent is supposed to be. It was only towards the end of Advent last year when I found out that it was supposed to be a solemn time, with that sense of waiting. Although, I can feel that wave society experiences this time of year which peaks at Christmas. While it's not a solemn feeling, I think it helps with that sense of the sacred when the world pauses during Christmas.

Thursday, 22 December 2011!

I've been doing a lot of art lately. It's challenging when I have to do a lot at the same time. I did a picture of Our Lady for my friend's Mum who's looked after me a lot this year, she's my favourite advice giver ^_^ The other is for the bishop, my going-away present to him.

Monday, 19 December 2011


I'm baby-sitting my 20-year-old friend and her family this week, so you might not hear much from me.

I'm having such a fun time so far. They have five children....well, teenagers...and I really feel apart of the family. It's a bit chaotic at times, and the amount of times I've had to say "do the washing up!" in the first day alone is a bit dauntnig. It's been really interesting seeing a large Catholic family from the inside. On every wall there are pictures of Jesus and Our Lady, including a huge icon in the living room, and pro-life stickers everywhere. I've had to safe-guard my food in case they eat it. I'm fussy about breakfast and love my yogurt and fruit in the morning. Most of the day the boys are down the paddock or off on their motorbikes, so they aren't a problem.

I'd love to be a mother with lots of the children someday, and I think this week will test that desire. However, I prayed for my future husband seriously for the first time at Mass this morning. I've never done it before because I could never really see me having one for some reason. I kind of paused mid-prayer remembering this, but I thought "Well, Jesus will use my prayer for someone else if I don't have one."

So far it's been pretty easy, with only a few little arguments (my poor friend is such a stress head!) Now I just have to get my iPod back somehow!

2nd Rite of Reconcilation

I only recently found out that 2nd rite is not chronological >.> I always thought it had something to do with the liturgical year and how far along we were.

I really like 2nd rite, it's a nice way to mediate on the greater meaning of confession before the act itself, and I also like seeing a lot of priests in one place. We didn't have many parishioners last night, but it was still nice to have something in the cathedral. They also play elevator-style music of the Kyrie through the speakers, which is kind of hilarious.

This will probably be one of the last times I receive the sacrament of confession in this parish, which makes this one a little sad.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Merry Christmas from WoW

This looked very out of place >.>


I went caroling for the first time the other day, I've never done it before. We went to a nursing home with some women front he local library and a number of young Catholics. My singing teacher played the piano, her mother; the violin and my other friend her guitar. We had not practiced at all, so we were just making it up as we went along, it made me a little nervous, and when I'm nervous the edges of my mouth (which unfornuately is what I'm usually using in these moments) starts to twitch, which adds embarrassment to the nerves!

I've never been to a nursing home without visiting a relative. I'm so bad at talking to old people because they're usually deaf or not-all-there and I really don't know what to say half the time lol! One of my friends works in a nursing home, so it was interesting to watch her interact, she's so gentle too. Mum says to just patter on to them. My friend's mum said it took her while to know what to do, it just seems to take practice really.

I'm glad I got to do a good deed this Christmas ^_^

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Allelujia - Magnus Dominum

Ages ago, before I knew was Gregorian Chant was about, my Dad brought me "The best Gregorian Chant Album in the WOrld...ever". I listen to my iTunes on shuffle so it comes up occasionally. I just heard the Allelujia - Magnus Dominum. Wow! It's so beautiful, the way it flows reminds me of waves lapping on the shore. I found the score for it too.

It reminded me of how beauty draws us to the truth. Because I found it so beautiful, I had to look it up (or find the truth!) and traslate it. "Lord is great and greatly to be praised in the city of God in the holy mount." I know...Google translate :P I couldn't help but imagine it being sung in heaven, and desiring heaven that little bit more, so I think that's the goodness bit.

At the moment, I'm watching Mum being drawn to the Church by it's beauty. She even admitted today, in her own way, that she agrees with the Church's stance on women priests. I'm so overjoyed for her, I really hope this is the doorway that she steps through to find the goodness and truth within.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Three Weeks Left...

Wow! I feel nervous...It began yesterday when Mum brought home boxes for moving. It's gnawing in my stomach and I took me a while to get to sleep last night thinking about everything I have to do.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Vestal Morons:- Star Wars and the History of Vatican II

One of my friends shared this on facebook. It is hilarious and educational all at once. It disturbs me how perfect the analogies are too...almost like George Lucas wrote Star Wars as a metaphor for Vatican II...hmmm >.>

Going-away Gifts

I'm drawing some pictures for my two priests and bishop. They've done so much for me over the last few years that I just wanted to thank them. I think the letters that I write will take a few weeks to write.

For my bishop I'm doing a drawing of Christ the Priest in an Traditional Mass (maniple and all!). For my priest, the one who has been so supportive with the youth ministry, I'm doing a picture of St Augustine, because he did his master's thesis on him. It has been the most frustrating! His figure turned out too tall and the boarder has been difficult to finish, but I'm getting close. For my other priest I'm doing a picture of Our Lady holding Baby Jesus with the verse "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:13. I've been praying over them, but I need to pray a bit more frequently I think.

While I was looking for idea's for St Augustine's border I found this really good graph of crosses. They even have names.

Practice Pack

After that long weekend, and an 18 hour sleep, I've had a little practice packing the car. I should be able to fit eight 55L plastic boxes in the back, which is great because I thought it would be three or four at the most!

Here is my room, and all the stuff I have to pack up, Excuse the messiness >.>

Saturday, 10 December 2011

The 1st Profession and Ordinations

Sunday is really a day of rest for me, particularly after the last few days! I’ll separate these into sections, because otherwise it’s a little complicated and long-winged (more-so than usual).
The 1st Profession
I was a little nervous before the Mass, but my choir director was the most out of all of us. Poor thing had to put up with me asking stupid questions. I watched the family of the sister-to-be come in from the parlour. I noticed a couple looked upset and even a little confused. They aren’t Catholic and I just tried to imagine how puzzled they must be about this woman who has so much potential sacrificing it all to God, marrying a Man they’d never seen and will never meet in this life.
Our choir
There were five priests concelebrating, with our youngest priest leading it. The Kyrie went well, the drones sounding good (even after my friend had to negotiate with one who tried to tell her what the traditional way usually was). I was one of only three sopranos who sung the responsorial psalm. I prayed to Jesus all the way through, in that wordless way where it comes as a soft cry from the heart, begging Him I wouldn’t stuff it up. Our Lord listened and granted me that favour, it sounded beautiful! Father asked the sister what she wished of the Church and she answered, I loved the great “thanks be to God” the congregation responds with. The main tenor, (who we had imported from Sydney) sung a different Alleluia and my friend shot him daggers. It turned out later he had made a legitimate accident.
My priest gave a passionate homily about technology and the need for the contemplative orders. Then the sister professed in the most joyful tone her desire. I nearly started crying, I really hope for that joy one day. Father then handed her the constitution of the Carmelite order and a small wooden cross through the little door on the sanctuary.
The O, Sanctissima sounded great with me out of it, although I almost felt like joining in because I still love the hymn. Our Ubi Caritas was great, especially with the very talented tenor singing parts.
Afterwards, I went with Mum and saw the sister in the parlour. I hadn’t been able to see her the whole Mass because of where I had been sitting, she was wearing a wreath of white flowers. They turned out to be real, and the smell was beautiful.
In-between Time
After morning tea I set off home to cook chocolate, almond and ginger parcels and a flourless chocolate cake for the ordinations. I went in for a quick Centrelink appointment  (with a very nice woman for once!) I then went downtown to find some new bling.
While there I ran into a friend, we had a great chat and this is really where I noticed the Holy Spirit moving. We had some awkwardness between us since WYD, which had been a kind of negative spiritual experience for both of us. She apologised for being angry with me and I apologised for how blunt I can be sometimes. We both forgave each other. To confront this I think was a big challenge for her because she is so gentle and kind and she hates conflict, but I really feel like the Holy Spirit filled her with courage (and how could He not? She so faithful to Him and Holy Mother Church and she had obviously prayed hard about it). He helped me forgive and apologise myself. It also gave her an opportunity to debrief about WYD, which I think she’d really needed to do.
After we caught up with some of the seminarians for lunch. I love watching them joke around with each other, they are truly like brothers, even across cultures. Many are Filipino, but our Australian and Australian-Polish ones joke and tease just as much.
I was very lucky because I got to sit up the front for this one. We had all our cantors for this one, including a professional singer, who has done opera. She sung Ave Maria, hitting the high notes so clearly. I want that voice! I didn’t get teary for this Mass, I sat there making the occasional comment to a new friend of mine, who sings for the Traditional Latin Mass in Sydney. She told me about how the tradition of the corporals being wrapped around the hands of each priest, was from the old rite, and later, how they are given to the priests mothers who have them wrapped around their hands when buried so they can show God the great sacrifice they gave for Him.
Laying on of hands.
My favourite part was the Kiss of Peace, where all the priest go in for that group-hug, starting with the bishop. He couldn’t have looked prouder! One of the newly ordained really got into it, and laughs rang out from all over the Cathedral as he bear-hugged one of his closest brother priests.
I think I stood for most of those two hours, my legs ached, but I didn’t want to miss a moment. It was a bit awkward when our parish administrator thanked the choir and I was still standing, and most of the church could see me. I just resisted the temptation to wave.
Afterwards I ran into so many people I knew and I was on such a high. The Filipino community laid out a huge spread. I made sure get my first blessings, include in a group of my friends, there was about ten of us. It was a truly wonderful night, I only got home at 12, and I had to get up for the next morning at 6am for the first Masses.
First Masses
I ended up being dragged into singing for the earliest Mass. It wasn’t so bad, but I really didn’t care as much as the day before. My friend was helping direct, a lot of the music being the same as yesterday. The Kyrie was slightly stuffed up, but nobody really minded, herself included who gave us an ‘oh, well’ look.
I went to the next two, one down in the cathedral, the other half-an-hour away. I didn’t receive the Eucharist for either because of I was so tired and not in the right-mind for it. The next morning I had to get up for the Saturday morning Mass, celebrated by one of the new priests.
Again, the Holy Spirit moved. Mum got a blessing for the new priest. She really got up her courage, because she felt like she was intruding. She got a little teary, I tried not to as I prayed looking directly at the tabernacle and asking Jesus to watch over her specifically. She felt a little embarrassed as she needed help up, but I really feel it was the Holy Spirit sitting heavily on her shoulders. Mum has come to every Mass over the last few days. I’m so pleased. All the graces from the Mass no doubt have washed over her, and it always helps when the person you’re praying for is right there.
Institution of the Acolytes
Two of my friends from the seminary were instituted as acolytes at this morning’s Mass. Afterwards I got to speak to the bishop finally about quitting altar-serving. He was quietly supportive, especially as I said I’d like to an all-male sanctuary, but thanked me for my help, even saying that the girls are very good and ‘always show up with clean fingernails’.  Mum also spoke to him, he had trouble remembering her at first, but she re-introduced herself and mentioned she wasn’t Catholic. He told her not to worry at all and that she was more than welcome. I’d actually prayed that he would do that if she had to opportunity to speak to him! Once again, that beautiful Spirit of God, that Love of the Father and Son, has been rushing through our lives!
The bishop wanted me to take pictures, which was a little nerve-wracking, I always get nervous around him anyway, in case I say/do something utterly stupid. But despite my shaking hands, I got some good shots.This is my favourite.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Dress Update: Almost Finished!

Well, I'm almost finished. I spent the day at my friend's place getting her mothers advice (because even Mum was feeling lost!) and finishing it off.

It was interesting using another sewing machine. Their

machine was harder to set, but I really liked the pedal, it was a lot more sensitive, so when I needed to slow down, it really slowed down! I also managed to break their iron when I accidentally dropped it onto the stone around their fireplace. It's bottom actually cracked! I've decided they're getting a new one for Christmas.

It sucks I didn't get it finished for the big day tomorrow, but I already had a back-up dress, and I think I might be more comfortable in it anyway. Rather than worrying about whether my work will be judged or whether it's falling apart as I move around ;) A little more time to work on something is always a good thing.

Back panels
Bodice with straps
Close-up of the straps
Almost there!

Eve of The Ordinations and Profession

As I write it's a cold and rainy night (in the height of summer!) and I'm snuggled up in my bed. Today I spent nearly the whole day out of the house and in the Catholic community. I can really feel the excitement level rising! Priests, seminarians and lay people are beginning to arrive. One girl who has come up to fill a soloist role in our cathedral choir mentioned she recognised several Catholics, including a priest, on her flight alone.

Stress levels are rising too. Our choir director at the cathedral was very tense, hard not to be with all the divas around! One woman behind me wouldn't stop with the passive-aggressive comments, and the terrible singing (as if she was in her death-bed) in my ear. However, the real highlight was the arrival of our male cantor who practiced a communion verse, and did it so beautifully my skin broke out in goosebumps. It was a take on the Magnificant, but tailored for a male voice, and he was angelic! I was amazed that the four young people thee, including him, spent their time practicing and the over 50s wouldn't stop whinging. I really hope we stay like this as we get older so we can just get on with the worship of our Father and Creator, rather than turning it into an ego-fest!

My poor friend (and other choir director) is stressed as well. She keeps having nightmares about the choir going terribly wrong (always due to some people who don't turn up for practice). She's really been banging her head against a wall trying to deal with them. Tomorrow she's going to be asking for an explanation for why they weren't there for the final practice, which really stuffed us around because we couldn't practice the drone for the Kyrie. On top of all this the organ she's used to working with has broken last minute, so we may have to do a lot of it unaccompanied. Oh, pray for us, St Cecilia!

I really can't wait for tomorrow! I'm going to record the Masses and I'll see if I can put up the highlights. It should be spectacular!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

New Marist Window

So, I'm going to Sunday morning Mass regularly at the Cathedral now. I watched the servers and felt a little sad, I must admit, that I wasn't up there helping, but I was glad it was an all-male sanctuary. I reminded myself that this was my little cross and I prayed briefly for their vocations.

Yesterday there was a big gathering of Marist brothers for a new window in the Cathedral celebrating there 100 years presence in the diocese. I know it's terrible, but I don't buy that the Marist brothers look after the poor anymore, the local school (which they own in conjunction with the parish) is private and very wealthy. A vast majority of the children there don't come to Mass on a Sunday, the Cathedral would be packed with a lot more young people than I see there on a Sunday, and I'm constantly hearing about how anti-Catholic many of them are, along with many of the teachers. The Marist brother who got up to present the window to the bishop spoke about helping the youth, and I just sat there and remembered how empty the youth group is, and how wealthy many of the youth who go there are.

I'm sorry, but wealthy children are not marginised!

Blessing the window.
At least blessing was beautiful, the prayer was quite vivid. When the bishop had done his thing, he and all the brothers sung Salve Regina, it sounded beautiful, especially with just male voices.

Afterwards, I caught up with my baptism/confirmation sponsor, who is one of the brothers. I didn't even know he was coming down. A couple of years ago he moved up to Emerald, after 13 years here, for some sort of missionary work. It turns out they're finished up there and he's moving down to Sydney as well, so hopefully I'll run into him again. He's a lovely man, with a very good heart, espeically for the poor.

That's the thing that makes me sad about the Marists, individually they are lovely people, but somehow as a group they've lost their way a bit. I don't see any refuges for the poor run by them, it's all business now. I must remember to pray for them, becasue they have the capacity to be such a good force, especially as the 'little brothers" of Mary.

Parish Family Picnic

One of our priests organises a parish family picnic regularly. Yesterday we went down to the beach. It was a small gathering, probably because of the weather, but it was fun, and we even had the local priest, who used to serve my parish show up, it was so good to see him again. He's from Nigeria originally, at first he had a little trouble with English, and I think the culture too, he mentioned how passionate the Nigerian people are about their faith. But he's such a friendly person and he seems to be settling in nicely.

Me and my friend's brother watching cricket.
A couple of people went down to the river in kayaks. Most of us went over and played cricket. I sat and watched with a friend and chatted because cricket is even more boring to play. My friend then set up a game of ultimate frisbee, I actually got up and played, mainly because I didn't want to have to exercise later. I'm glad I did, I forgot how fun sport can be, and my team actually won. I had problems catching, especially since my pants were loose >.>...but it was lots of fun. I actually have a blood-blister on my foot, so I think that's evidence! I was so exhausted last night I just collapsed into bed, and still didn't get up for 7am Mass, I really need to fix that!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Another St Francis de Sales Prayer

 It's so heartfelt ^.^

Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;
rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise,
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in His arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same understanding Father who cares for
you today will take care of you then and every day.

He will either shield you from suffering
or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.


I love this Presbyterian church, it's good to see some loud and proud humour. They change it every week too. Maybe I should lobby our parish for a similar sign, but more Catholic orientated like "Transubstantiation - change we can believe in!" ( I stole that from here by the way)

Forbidden fruit creates many jams.

Near-final Practice

This is one our last practices before the ordination night. We're sounding pretty good. I was having problems with "Veni Creator Spiritus", but I feel a lot more confident in the choir, I just need to practice the Latin and placement of the words (it seems a little random sometimes).

The team

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Altar Serving

I forgot to mention, my last day of altar serving was last Sunday. I was glad it was over, it really hit me that that was the last time, but I was happy to just be able to relax and take in the Mass in future. It was a bit of a disaster, we lost our priest a couple of minutes before Mass and we made a few other mistakes, and so I'm definitely not tempted to go back.

The priest in charge of training servers was very supportive too. I'm glad it ended so well. I'll continue to pray for the servers too, that this becomes a vocation for them