St. Anthony... Saint or Superhero?



St. Anthony... Saint or Superhero?
01 2013
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St. Anthony... Saint or Superhero?
St Anthony of Padua
& Lisbon, saint and
superhero. It is said that
he preached so powerfully
people in neighboring
towns could hear him,
he preached to the fishes
because no one in the town would listen
to him, and he made a horse kneel to
the presence of God. You might know
him better as the Patron Saint for lost
articles, he is credited with many miracles
involving lost people, lost things and even
lost spiritual goods. Saint Anthony is also
known in Portugal, Spain and Brazil as the
marriage saint because there are legends of
him reconciling couples. Mothers also pray
to St. Anthony imploring his help in finding
their daughters a suitable husband. His feast
day, 13 June, is Lisbon’s municipal holiday,
celebrated with parades and marriages.
St. Anthony is a towering presence in the
history of the Church, one of only a handful
of saints who have been proclaimed Doctor
of the Church. His legacy of teaching and
miracles echoes through history to the
present day, so much that his two home towns
on opposite sides of the Mediterranean like
to argue about who claims him as their own.
Several of Harvest’s pilgrimages take in
some of the key sites of St Anthony’s life, he
holds a special place in the lives and faiths
of many pilgrims from Australia and around
the world.
St Anthony was born Fernando Martins de
Bulhoes into a wealthy family in Lisbon. His
birthplace in Lisbon is now the site of the
Basilica of St Anthony and is the starting
point of Harvest’s Visitations of Mary
Pilgrimage. Part of the nobility, he was given
the best education but at age 15 he went
against his parents wishes and entered a
convent to begin religious instruction. Due
to his family’s continued objections, he
left Lisbon to continue study further afield
where he became a priest and began his life
of faith and prayer. He cultivated a solitary
scholarly temperament but was inspired by a
group of Franciscans he met who were later
martyred and left his life once more, this
time to become a Franciscan missionary in
It is here that Fernando became Anthony
and he found his true calling: teaching
and preaching. Though he began life as a
Franciscan continuing in the same way as
he’d lived as a priest; quietly. In Padua the
Italian city he now called home, his brothers
discovered a spectacular gift for preaching
and quickly his fame spread.
Continues on page 3...
•Portrait of a Priest - Fr A Grace 9
•St Anthony... Saint or Superhero?1
•Year of Faith
•L etter from the Editor
•Pilgrims Progress
•INROADS - Schoolies
•Italy - La Dolce Vita
•Pilgrims Along the Road
•INROADS - Road to Jericho
•Farewell Pope Benedict XVI
•Meet our Team
•W YD - From Randwick to Rio 12
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Issue 01 | 2013
Letter from the Editor:
Dear Readers and Fellow Pilgrims,
Greetings and a warm welcome to our first issue of “The Harvester” for 2013! The Harvester is
Harvest Pilgrimages newsletter, our way of keeping you informed of what we are doing, what’s
coming up and of course hearing what you have been up to. In this issue, you will read from our
‘Pilgrim Guest Journalists’ who have generously shared their experiences with us. One couple
chose to marry in the Wedding Chapel at Cana; while a young teen was greatly moved by his visit
to the Holy Land. Share their journey on pages 4 and 5. You may even see yourselves featured in
our “Pilgrims Along the Road” photo montage which some of our pilgrims have sent in. This is
your publication as much as it is ours, so I would like to invite you to send in your stories, photos
and letters to the editor. Please email me at [email protected]
Also in this issue we will be introducing our first “Portrait of a Priest” feature, whereby we will feature
one of our chaplains who regularly escorts our pilgrimages. In doing so we hope that you will get to
know our priests on a more human level.
2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year! We were all surprised by the decision of Pope Benedict
XVI to resign, read Samuel Mullin’s moving tribute to him on the opposite page.
Harvest Inroads is excited to announce the launch of their Schoolies 2013
programme, learn of how one school chose something different for their year 12
graduates and how you too can do the same this year.
We couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities which this year brings,
perhaps the pilgrimage you have been dreaming of or World Youth Day in Rio.
Please take some time to read our newsletter, be inspired and dare to dream!
- Randa Habelrih
Italy - La Dolce Vita
To taste “La Dolce Vita” or the sweet life
which Italy has to offer is a pull which most
Australians feel. Imagine combining the
dream of exploring Italy both historically and
through the lens of our Catholic faith and
Italy is home to so many fascinating sites and
treasures of our Catholic faith. It is full of
shrines, catacombs, architecture, art, history
and of course the stories and lives of saints. It
is the plurality of the country’s riches which
makes a Harvest Pilgrimage the perfect way
to explore Italy.
For centuries, Catholics the world over have
wished to make a pilgrimage to Italy, or more
specifically, to the Eternal City of Rome.
When imagining the sites of Italy, usually
visions of St. Peter’s Basilica first spring to
mind. St. Peter’s, located in Vatican City
is one the greatest architectural symbols
of our faith; not only is it a living breathing
museum, it is a fully functioning church.
When we visit St. Peter’s as pilgrims we are in
awe of the significance of this site. St. Peter’s
is important to Christians as it is known as
the resting place of its namesake, the apostle
Peter, the church’s first Pope. Tradition has
it that the tomb of the man who walked with
our Lord, who denied him 3 times and who
was personally selected to lead and build the
church, lies at rest directly below the main
The Harvester
A highlight of a visit to Vatican City is of
course a visit to the Vatican Museums and
walking into the Sistine Chapel. The frescoes
are indeed both breathtaking and necknumbing. One is awestruck by the genius of
Michelangelo, however, we are reminded that
this Chapel is not merely a priceless museum,
it is the official private chapel of the popes and
is in use as we go to print to host the College
of Cardinals who are currently being led by
the Holy Spirit to elect our new Pope, the
successor to Peter. In the words of Helen F.
North, “St Peter’s Basilica is the reason why
Rome is still the centre of the civilized world.
For religious, historical, and architectural
reasons, it by itself justifies a journey to
With Harvest Pilgrimages, you have the
opportunity to explore Italy from top to
bottom. The highlights of a journey through
Italy include meandering along the ancient
streets and canals of Venice; visiting Padua,
the home town of the legendary St. Anthony
where you can decide for yourself whether he
is St. Anthony of Padua or of Lisbon! Explore
with us the birthplace of the Renaissance, the
city of Florence. Here you will be immersed
in history and culture with visits to the
Accademia and Uffizi Gallerie. Weave through
the medieval cobblestone streets of Assisi and
travel back to a time when St. Francis gave up
his life of privilege to follow the call of God.
We will also visit Greccio, the medieval town
where St. Francis instituted the first Nativity
veneration. Travel onwards to Cascia, which
is one of our most recent inclusions, and
view the incorrupt body of St. Rita, patron
saint of impossible causes, abused wives and
mourning women. Continue to the South
and wander through San Giovanni Rotondo
where Padre Pio spent a lifetime of prayer
and penance; become acquainted with him
for he truly is a Saint of our time, Padre Pio
died in 1968 and was canonized in 2002 by
Pope John Paul II. The journey through Italy
continues to the city Pompeii before arriving
in Rome, the Eternal City.
“Graces of Italy” is both an experience of
pilgrimage and a journey through history.
The two cannot be separated. Harvest’s tours
are accompanied by handpicked spiritual
chaplains and experienced local guides,
who together will educate and deepen your
The Graces of Italy pilgrimage starts
from $4790 plus airfares, including
accommodation, daily breakfast and dinner,
guides, and all entrance fees.
2013 departure dates are as follows:
• 29th May • 28th June •29th August
• 29th September •29th October
For more information or to request the 2013
catalogue contact Harvest on 1800 819 156.
Alternatively have a look at our website at
- by Randa Habelrih
Pope Benedict XVI
In August 2011, on an airfield just outside
of Madrid, a hot Spanish summer’s day had
given way to a warm humid night. Dark clouds
were gathering and an estimated one million
Catholic pilgrims who had gathered for the
final vigil of World Youth Day were bracing
for the worst. The sheer volume of people and
the hot summer had left the airfield dusty and
dry and as the wind built up its momentum
and flashes of lightning illuminated the
horizon. Pilgrims cowered under sleeping
bags, backpacks, ponchos, lighting fixtures –
whatever they could find – trying to escape
the biting dust. At the top of the field there
was a gigantic stage, 100 feet in length, bathed
in white and blue light, with an expansive
backdrop that looked like the cliffs of dover,
and on the stage a diminutive elderly cleric
was valiantly trying to ignore the commotion
as he ploughed on through his address to the
The cleric was, of course, Pope Benedict XVI
and before long the lightning wasn’t on the
horizon anymore, the thunder drowned out
the sound of the cleric’s voice and the rain
came. The fierce wind blew it across the field,
drenching the pilgrims. The Pope was now
hidden from view, surrounded by four or five
priests holding up white umbrellas trying, but
not succeeding, to shield him from the rain.
It was almost certainly not what Pope
Benedict had in mind when he became a
priest many decades ago, but he was ever the
faithful servant of God and the Church. That
commitment to ensure he served the Church
at his best is no doubt part of why he has
chosen now to step down as Pope – he clearly
knew his health was such that he couldn’t
perform his duties. There is humility in that,
perfectly in character for the quiet scholar who
became a global figure.
The world was shocked and amazed when he
announced his decision to step down from the
Papacy but he will be remembered for more
than that choice. He is one of the greatest
minds of the 20th century; a theological giant.
He began his career in a university lecture
hall, a renowned thinker and author. He then
St. Anthony... Saint or Superhero?
Continued from front cover...
tomb of St.Anthony in the Basilica - Padua
On Harvest’s Graces of Italy pilgrimage we
spend a day in Padua visiting the other St
Anthony’s Basilica and walking the streets
where St Anthony preached and taught.
But remember, to the Paduan locals he’s
St Anthony of Padua not Lisbon (and viceversa in Lisbon!). It was in Padua that St
Anthony died, and was canonized on 30
May 1232, at Spoleto, Italy, less than one
year after his death.
St Anthony’s story of a studious quiet priest
becoming a renowned teacher and preacher
has a profound parallel in these times to
spent twenty years as the Church’s Grand
Inquisitor, fighting ferocious intellectual
theological battles, writing dense theological
books along the way, and six years before that
night in Madrid, he’d been hoping to quietly
retire to a library in Germany and spend his
last years writing and reading. But the hand
of God intervened and Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI. And
so on that night in Madrid in 2011 he was on
a stage; dripping wet, dust in his eyes, with
frantic churchmen thrusting umbrellas in his
face while a million young people looked on
eager to hear his words and be inspired. Soon
we will have a new Pope and he’ll be the one
to stand in the storms and Benedict can return
to the quiet life of prayer and study. You will
always be in our prayers.
- by Samuel Mullins
the now out-going Pope Benedict XVI who
deeply desired to return to a quiet academic
life before being elected Bishop of Rome.
This is the beauty of the stories of our saints,
though many of them lived long ago, their
lives still speak to us today. They show us
just how powerful the blessings can be if
you truly seek God’s will and follow when
he calls. Fernando could have been a teacher
in Lisbon, known only to his students and
family; instead he followed God’s call and
became known throughout Europe, had
another city claim him as their own, and we
remember him to this day knowing that if
we too say yes to God, there’s no knowing
where we’ll end up.
- by Samuel Mullins
Issue 01 | 2013
Indulge during
The Year Of Faith:
Why Not Come On
Wedding at Cana!
For many years now we have been taking pilgrims to Cana on The Journey of Christ
Pilgrimage, where many of our couples have the opportunity to renew their wedding
vows. However the 9th of January 2013 marked a first for Harvest Pilgrimages
because on this day, Celia Carroll and Flavio Varnier became husband and wife in
our very own ‘Wedding at Cana’!
The 70 pilgrims from Glenbrook NSW on the Sinai to Jerusalem tour led by Fr John
McSweeney and Leesa Gillard had no idea what was planned until Fr John made an
announcement a few minutes before the ceremony was due to begin. It was safe to say
that the news was received with great excitement and enthusiasm.
Following the ceremony a mini reception was held in their honour back at the group’s
hotel on the shores of Lake Galilee. The couple celebrated with joy among new
friends and all enjoyed a 3 tier wedding cake courtesy of Harvest Pilgrimages.
Congratulations Celia and Flavio from everyone at Harvest!
- by Monica Mansour
Pope Benedict XVI has announced a Year of
Faith for the Church! His Apostolic Letter
Porta Fidei tells us that the Year of Faith is “a
time of spiritual grace that the Lord offers us,
in recalling the precious gift of faith”.
If you’d like to read up on Pope Benedict’s
Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, click here.
Special indulgences have been granted for the
Year of Faith, which commenced 11 October,
2012 and concludes 24 November, 2013. To
encourage the faithful, the Church attaches
indulgences to actions that are already good
in themselves. One way that a special plenary
indulgence can be gained for the Year of Faith
is through participating in a pilgrimage:
“Visit by way of pilgrimage a papal basilica,
a Christian catacomb, a cathedral or other
church designated by the local bishop for the
Year of Faith, and take part there in some sacred function; or at least pray there for some
time, concluding with the Our Father, the
profession of faith in any approved form,
prayers to Our Lady and the patron saints of
the place”.
The normal conditions for gaining a plenary
indulgence still apply. They are outlined in
the article ‘Bring on Indulgences’. This is
also a great article if you’d like to read more
to help you further understand the great gift
of indulgences.
Happy indulging from the Harvest team!
- by Yvette Jackowiak
The Harvester
God has led two lives to take one path,
Blessing us with Love and Friendship
We met at the beginning of the 'Journey
of Christ' pilgrimage at the Dead Sea in
2010. Pete and his two adult children came
over to introduce themselves and I have to
admit I was impressed at first sight with the
country boy's charm. I knew within two days
Pete was for me. At that stage I had been
widowed for 10 years and thought marriage
was no longer in God's plan for me. Pete,
on the other hand had been widowed for 5
years and was happy enough to be with his
During the course of the pilgrimage there
were tears shed at Cana, and we shared
our pain in the Garden of Gethsemane. We
prayed, shared meals and walked the streets
of Jerusalem knowing God was good. This,
along with our faith, provided us with a
common ground and a bond was quickly
Upon our return to Australia the emails
started to flow and within 3 months Pete
proposed and we were married within six
months. We had two weddings, one in my
home town with family and friends and
another in Pete's home town along with
The Holy Land, not what I expected:
On the 13th of January, 41
pilgrims travelled to the Holy
Land for one of the most
enlightening journeys I have
been on. As one of the youngest
on the trip I was looking
forward to getting to see the
key sites of the Bible including
Mount Nebo, the Jordan River,
Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem. Expecting to see a few interesting
archaeological and biblical places I certainly wasn’t prepared for the
spiritual refreshment that each of us found in some way or other.
I found the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict surprisingly interesting and
complex. We heard from two fathers, one an Israeli and the other
Palestinian, who had each lost a child to the conflict and found
peace and hope in their friendship and faith. This talk was inspiring
for everyone; the fact that these two men who have been so affected
by war found hope in the situation reminded each of us of how the
struggles in our own lives cannot keep us from God.
Other highlights for me included a visit to the Holy Child Program,
a tour through a 1st century AD Palestinian village in Nazareth, and
a Mass on the Sea of Galilee. Our fantastic priest Father Columba
gave us insightful homilies in each of our daily masses, and our tour
guides proved to be endless sources of information, helping us to
understand the current situation in Israel and Jordan.
The Way of the Cross and visits to the places Jesus had travelled was
very different to what we were expecting. Hearing about it is one thing,
but actually visiting these sites was entirely different. The fact that
these were the places Jesus performed great miracles and sacrificed
himself for us was a powerful reminder of his presence in our lives
wherever we are. This pilgrimage was a much-needed renewal of
faith and intriguing examination of the origins of Christianity. I look
forward to using the lessons I have learnt here back at home, and
hopefully even returning one day to learn much more.
- by Declan Green
Fr. John
as our
who had
with us.
The tree change from the cane industry in
North Queensland to a sheep farm in mid
NSW has been a smooth one as we pray and
thank our God each day. Yes, God has led
two lives to take one path, blessing us with
love and friendship.
- By Arlene & Peter Townsend
An experience which touched and
enlightened our minds and hearts...
rom Greece to Turkey to Italy and then a second trip to the
Holy Land…….. over the past twelve months I have been
privileged to travel into the most wonderful places and sacred sites
on pilgrimages with Harvest. As the Principal of a Catholic secondary
school the journeys have enriched my life and faith and this in turn
has enabled me to enrich my school community. To be able to speak
from firsthand experience and share my insights and understandings
about the beginnings of our Christian faith, church history and the
life and ministry of Jesus with staff, students and parents has been
Travelling into different countries, meeting the local people and
experiencing different cultures have added to the uniqueness of
the pilgrimages. Highlights are too many to mention. It has also
heightened my awareness of the complex issues and conflict in the
world today, especially the Holy Land and the continued need of
prayers for peace.
I use the words of St Paul to express the way such an experience can
touch and enlighten our mind and hearts as we continue to know our
God more fully: “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you
come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened,
you may know what is the hope to which he has called you….”
(Eph 1:17-18)
- by Anne Anderson
Principal, St Ursula’s School - Sydney
Issue 01 | 2013
Pilgrims Al
Garden of Get
Graces of Italy
Harvest Coaches in
Bishop Fisher in Turkey
Birthday Celebrations
in Petra, Jordan
‘St Peter
Capernaum by the
’ and Exodus pilgrims at
The Harvester
Sea of Galilee in Novemb
er 2012
Harvest in Cairo
In the Holy Land
Trevi Fountain
Guide Paola and Pilgrims in Italy
Inside the Ch
urch of the H
oly Sepulchre
The Australian flag on the Sea of Galilee
Guide Fadi in Jordan with Pilgrim
Issue 01 | 2013
For the last 17 years if you phoned Harvest
hoping to book a pilgrimage, there’s a
good chance you might have spoken with
Russell Powers. Other than our Managing
Director Philip Ryall, Russell is Harvest’s
longest continuous serving staff member.
The rest of the Harvest team know him
as the friendly colleague, always willing to
have a chat, especially about his beloved
Balmain Tigers. Pilgrims know him as the
ever-helpful and knowledgeable travel
consultant. He’s seen a lot in his 17 years on
the job so we thought would be interesting
to get to know Russell and have an insight
into what it’s like working in the pilgrimage
business, what advice he might give to
pilgrims, and just what it is that’s kept him
around all this time.
Before Harvest, Russell had a long and
fruitful career in radio and the music
industry. “I spent 15 years working as a
radio disc jockey in Warwick, Dubbo,
Musswellbrook, Newcastle and Sydney, I
left radio after 6 years at 2SM in Sydney as
the Music Director.”
Russell then worked for Dolphin Records
and EMI Music Publishing as International
Manager and Copyright Manager.
Eventually, though he says it wasn’t fun
anymore and decided it was time for a
career change. He’s always been interested
in travel, so he signed up for a Travel Agent
course at TAFE so he could start his new
Not long after completing that course,
Russell saw an advertisement for a Travel
Consultant with Harvest, then a young
start –up pilgrimage company. He applied,
only to discover that the job opening had
quickly closed and he was out of luck. Six
months later though, another consultant
position opened and Russell’s application
happened to be sitting on the top of the
pile. Russell says “I feel I was led to Harvest
as I always had an interest in pilgrimage and
with my letter on top of the pile – well, who
put it there?”
The rest, as they say, is history. Russell says
he still enjoys meeting the wide variety of
people who come on pilgrimage. He says “It
is very rewarding to see these pilgrimages
and extra plans all come together from
a rough idea that people have on initial
contact” and he enjoys the fact that he
can assist people in experiencing “what it
is like to be on pilgrimage as opposed to
a commercial tour because they are very
One of his most memorable experiences
with helping pilgrims was when he was a
tour coordinator for the Exodus Journey
many years ago. The group was to meet
at a stopover in Singapore to then travel
onwards, but Russell says one couple from
Perth was missing. “I managed to find
them just before boarding the flight. They
had been reluctant to join because they
said ‘the group looked too Holy’ – they
ended up having a wonderful experience
on pilgrimage, so looks can be deceiving –
we were all just pilgrims trying to find our
Not only is Italy a land of unforgettable charm and
beauty, it is also a land made rich in grace
by its colourful history of holy men and women.
Participate in the world’s most requested Marian journey as
we come to encounter first hand the tangible grace behind
Our Lady’s life-changing visitations.
- by Samuel Mullins
Experience the very land where Jesus lived and worked His
ministry and gain a privileged insight into His life as the child
of Nazareth, healer of Galilee and our Saviour on Calvary.
Fully Escorted By Spiritual Chaplain
Fully Escorted By Spiritual Chaplain
Fully Escorted By Spiritual Chaplain
Featuring: • Venice • Padua • Florence • Assisi
• Padre Pio • Pompeii • Rome
Featuring: • Fatima Anniversary • Avila • Segovia
• Barcelona • Montserrat • Manresa • Lourdes
Featuring: • Dead Sea • Bethlehem • Nazareth
• Sea of Galilee • Mt Beatitudes • Jerusalem
* Plus airfares
And what of his own experience of
pilgrimages over the years? He says there’s
no doubt about his favourite pilgrimage
destination: “As Audrey Hepburn said in
Roman Holiday; Rome, most definitely
Russell’s been to Rome 38 times and he
says “I am only just starting to think I have
seen most of it.”
“This city has a life of its own. It often
amuses me when people say ‘no, I don’t
want to stay in Rome, I was there for 3
nights and saw everything’ – if only they
knew what they were missing!”
The key to pilgrimage. Russell says, is to go
with an open heart and open mind, “let God
or Our Lady lead you to where they want
you to be, not where you want.”
“Every pilgrim is at a different spiritual
point…in my experience everyone will
receive what they need and sometimes it
may not be until six to twelve months after
they return. As the bible says, the thing is to
seek earnestly and you will find.”
The Harvester
* Plus airfares
H A R V E S T P I L G R I M A G E S • w w w. h a r v e s t p i l g r i m s . c o m • F R E E C A L L 1 8 0 0 8 1 9 1 5 6
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Meet Fr. Andrew Grace...
1. How long have you been a priest?
Almost 12 years now.
2. Have you always known deep down
that you were going to be called to the
As an altar-boy there were fleeting moments of
wanting to become a priest but that fell by the
wayside in my teens until my mid-20s when
Medjugorje rejuvenated my faith and then
came the call.
3. When did you first “suspect” that
God had chosen you?
On Holy Thursday Night in 1994, Fr Greg
Foley was giving a beautiful homily at St
Martha’s, Strathfield about the priesthood at
that moment I felt called, it came back at 3pm
when Fr Michael Foster prostrated himself
at the foot of the altar on Good Friday at St
Anne’s, Strathfield South and again on Divine
Mercy Sunday at the Marian Conference at
the NSW State Sports Centre but this time
with the encouragement of Fr Tim Deeter, I
decided to take his advice and pray about it.
8. At present, what would you consider
your main mission?
The role of every priest is to preach the
Gospel in and out of season, to administer the
Sacraments faithfully and to spread devotion
to Our Lady. Knowing how many people
are caught in the web of Satan’s aggressively
secular world, I feel called to pass on the same
message that liberated me from this prison of
darkness and that message is ‘your faith can be
restored through the supernatural life found in
9. For you, what has been the most
rewarding aspect of being a priest?
Preaching, saying Mass and hearing
Confessions. To know that you are God’s
instrument to administer His Divine Mercy is
both very humbling and very fulfilling.
souls are not even aware that they have mortal
sins on their souls; such as deliberately missing
Mass on a Sunday. If they repent and make a
good Confession and begin to appreciate who
they are receiving in Holy Communion then
many souls will again answer the call. This is
happening in abundance at Medjugorje.
13. What is your favourite destination
for pilgrimage?
Medjugorje, I really believe Our Lady is there.
The peace and prayer life at Medjugorje is
amazing. It is the real living out of the Second
Vatican Council. Blessed John Paul II once
said that “Rome is the head of the Church and
Medjugorje is the heart.”
14. What value is there on undertaking
a pilgrimage?
If my prayer life is weak, Satan can tempt me
with these thoughts. Then it is time to dive
back into the Immaculate Heart of Mary; she
never fails to lead me to Her Son.
It is a wonderful chance to leave the modern
world that promises so much and delivers so
little. It is a chance to enter into the true life in
God, it is a chance to grow in faith and come
home renewed and determined to grow in
4. Was there any particular event or
influence in your life which led you to
consider a vocation to the priesthood?
11. Regarding the vow of Chastity, this
can seem very daunting. What is the
value of this vow?
15. What advice would you give to
someone considering going on a
5. What importance does the family
play in a religious vocation?
12. Why do you think there has been a
decline in the number of young men
being called to the priesthood?
The two most powerful influences were
Medjugorje and then my subsequent
involvement in the Marian Movement of
Priests. The messages for Our Lady concerning
the dignity of the priesthood and the love she
has for her beloved sons inspired me greatly.
It has often been said that the family is the
‘domestic seminary’. This was the case for me;
I am blessed to have wonderful catholic parents
who were very supportive of my vocation.
10. Do you ever get lonely?
A priest is called to be ‘altar Christus’, another
Christ. There is great supernatural power to
be received and given through embracing this
way of living; the Master embraced it and we
embrace it ‘for the sake of the Kingdom of
Pray about it and say to yourself: “because
Heaven is my goal, Lord Jesus help me to chose
a pilgrimage that will strengthen my resolve to
achieve this”. I have been blessed, as a priest, to
attend many World Youth Days, international
spiritual conferences and pilgrimages worldwide and can honestly say that Medjugorje is
the most holy shrine for prayer, penance and
Firstly, people must be in a state of grace to
even consider the call. Today so many poor
6. Did you always believe in God?
I always believed in God however throughout
my university days and beyond I acted as
though He did not exist. He was there when
I needed Him but I wasn’t living in His grace;
I guess you could say I was like ‘the prodigal
7. Do you have any advice for those
discerning a vocation?
Pray, pray, pray. Daily Mass, the Rosary, read
the Bible and good spiritual books, fast, regular
Confession and seek the council of a good holy
from left: Randa Habelrih, Ivanka Petrovic,
Zeljko Petrovik (our guides and operators in
Medjugorje) and Fr Andrew Grace
Issue 01 | 2013
Alternate Schoolies - A Road Less Travelled
Year 12’s who opt for “alternate schoolies”
make a wonderfully rich, extraordinary
choice! By doing this, they are literally
changing our world for the better!
Initially the aim was to attract the interest
of Year 12’s away from the overly endorsed
traditional “schoolies” trip. The girls were
encouraged to imagine a fresher way to
celebrate, a way with more possibility in the
development of their leadership, not just for
school, but for parish and civic life. It needed
to be a challenging initiative .
Our immersion journey began in February,
2012. Enter a Marist priest who had given
his life, to enhance the dignity of the people
in Davao, the Philippines. “Papa Gavino” or
Father Gavin launched into our community
and dared us to imagine the sufferings of
the disenfranchised lives of the patients in a
Mental Hospital in Davao. We then dared to
imagine how we could make a difference.
The practical running of the MSCW
“alternate schoolies” immersion was largely
made possible by the Harvest Inroads Team.
From presentations at parent-information
nights, to on-call consultation throughout
set-up, to day-to-day accompaniment
‘on-tour’. Harvest Inroads walked the
way and strengthened the links for all our
students, parents religious and other groups,
deepening this project with us.
You might say that there is something
extraordinary about any Year 12 student who,
upon hearing of the challenges and hardships
experienced by the disenfranchised in a
faraway country, chooses to listen and do
something about it! Generous Year 12’s
who amidst inordinate pressures to swan
to “schoolies” in its clichéd fashion, and
dared to choose a new way of celebrating.
Courageous Year 12‘s who, put their money
where their values are and chose to go out
and make a difference
So, last December, some of our Year 12‘s,
Kate, Isabella and Jessica opted to immerse.
They rolled up their sleeves, threw all their
18th birthday gift money together at the
risk of involvement and set upon the Marist
mission in the hospital in Davao. The
outcome? They have never looked back!
They experienced the paradox of the
Theology of Offering: That by giving, they
received, that by welcoming a stranger, they
were found, that by risking deeply, they were
touched by an intimate God who longs to
love them, evermore. And I learnt this too, as
did our generous parent accompanier, Cathy
Young and Harvest Inroads representative,
accompanied the group.
In the middle of parties and games,
workshops and dialogues, new relationships
with youth who are similarly poised to “make
a difference” in the world bloomed! Our
time was never boring. It was pure joy, not
just fun.
As one Year 12 commented:
"There is no stronger feeling that comes than
when you hold the hand of a child who has
nothing, yet radiates more joy and life than
you could ever possibly imagine..."
There were stark encounters in the Marist
Sisters’ and Marist Fathers’ projects. The
world has become a larger place, the internal
and external space in our own selves has
broadened. The girls are going back again
as soon as they can. The experiences on
the "alternate schoolies" immersion has
become life-changing, and the people they
met through it have become a significant
presence in their lives.
We are better for it and dare we say it, so is
the world!
By: Felicity McCallum,
Youth Ministry Coordinator
Marist Sisters' College
Har vest Inroads Introduces Schoolies 2013!
Harvest Inroads is proud to announce the launch
of its “Schoolies Travel Packages 2013” – a
selection of alternate schoolies expeditions filled
with faith, relaxation, friendship & extraordinary
places . Finally students will have an alternative
to the traditional party destination of the Gold
Coast and surrounds. Year 12 graduates will
have options of travelling with like minded
students to places of wonder and relaxation,
while parents will have the comfort of knowing
that the trip is fully escorted. Our Tour Leaders
will be handpicked qualified Youth Ministers,
some of the options will even be led by a youthful
spiritual chaplain. In addition, experienced local
The Harvester
guides will accompany the group at all times.
Parents will have the assurance that that while
their year 12 graduate is enjoying a well earned
vacation marking the end of their schooling
career and intense exams, they will be safely
accompanied by professional leaders who share
a youthful zest for life!
Detailed itineraries are available on
So if your child is searching for an alternate way
to mark the end of 12 years of schooling with
the celebration of a lifetime, one which will
shape their character and give them life long
memories, then a Harvest Inroads Schoolies
Adventure Expedition is the perfect reward.
Harvest Inroads have put together a number
For more information contact us on
of packages which will appeal to the varied
1800 819 156 or check out the website
interests of students. The adventure of a lifetime
awaits them with destinations such as Vietnam,
Vanuatu, Hawaii, New Zealand or The Holy
Road to Jericho...
A Voice in the Wilderness
This January, Samuel Clear Managing Director of Harvest ‘s Youth & Young Adults Division, INROADS accompanied 14 young
adults on the journey of a lifetime through the Holy Land. For those who were unable to join Sam on this journey, he kept them up to
date with a daily blog. Here is an extract of his blog which you can follow on on their future adventures!
Our second last day in the Holy Land was
designed to be a debrief day; a time where we
could unwind, enjoy each other’s company
and reflect on our pilgrimage, and that’s
pretty much what happened.
The main element of that debrief was to
take a hike, but not just any hike. We drove
out of Jerusalem into the Judean Desert to a
goat track winding down through a gaping
canyon that 2000 years ago served as the
connection between Jerusalem and Jericho
on the Jordan River plains. This was the path
Jesus walked many times when he “walked up
to Jerusalem”. It was spectacular. For around
two hours we carefully navigated along the
ancient path, making sure every step landed
smoothly on the stony surface. A river rushed
through the canyon below us as Bedouin
shepherds moved slowly along the sheer walls
above. We were in high spirits and revelled in
the time away from civilisation.
Emerging onto the outskirts of Jericho some
young Bedouins guided us on our way until
we rendezvoused with our bus and were
transferred across town. From there we
looked back up at the mountains surrounding
Jericho and could see a monastery built into
the side of one particular peak – the Mount of
Temptation. It was much taller than I’d ever
imagined, and our path up was by cable car.
For some of us, that was exciting, but not so
for others!
The Mt of Temptation monastery was
stunning, built into the side of the mountain.
A wonderful restaurant perched next to it
provided a traditional Palestinian meal with
an extraordinary view across the oldest known
city on the planet. With a cable car ride back
down the mountain and a short bus ride we
arrived in the predominantly Muslim town
of Bethany at Mary and Martha’s place (now
a church) to celebrate our final Mass for this
pilgrimage. Due to the West Bank conflict
Bethany lacked basic planning, rubbish
collection or order, but the haphazardness of
their existence was outdone by the people's
generosity in guiding our massive coach
down very narrow passages between double-
parked cars. Mind you, we did have to sing
loudly to combat the afternoon Muslim
prayers from the loud speaker of the Mosque
next door, but under the shadow of Lazarus’
tomb, where he was raised from the dead, we
reflected on our own journey over this past
two weeks and how we’ve each been called to
remove the bandages from our own faces and
be who God has called us to be.
We have had an extraordinary pilgrimage
through the Holy Land and are genuinely
sad to be heading home soon, but that’s
tomorrow. For tonight at least, we’re all
smiles and enjoying some last minute market
shopping, a huge farewell dinner and a lot of
story telling. I look forward to checking back
in tomorrow from Jordan. Until then, God
bless and goodnight (or morning, as the case
may be).
- by Samuel Clear
Issue 01 | 2013
WYD… from Randwick to Rio. Five years on.
It’s amazing to think that five years ago we
were celebrating WYD08 in Sydney where
over 400,000 young people gathered from
around the world to understand what it
means to be a young Catholic, and celebrate
it on a universal scale.
This legacy of WYD, certainly continued
through to WYD Madrid in 2011 where just
over 3,000 Australian pilgrims gathered again
to be ‘Planted and built up in Jesus Christ;
firm in the faith’ (Col 2:7). This pilgrimage
for many of our young people, both those in
school and post-school age, left a profound
impression on their lives. I remember hearing
from one guy who commented saying that
before WYD he never felt comfortable talking
about his faith or sharing his views with his
friends. However, after a powerful pre-WYD
pilgrimage through the Holy Land, and
taking part in the WYD week, he was able to
understand the joy and privilege is it to be
part of the church, and it has set him on a path
to a deep friendship with Christ.
WYD13 gives another opportunity to create
the space for Christ to move in the hearts of
our young people. Pilgrims will be able to
experience faith in different ways through
mission activities and immersion experiences
– something that although confronting,
will allow Christ to reveal himself through
the beautiful people of South America. The
WYD13 week is going to be something on
a different scale again – where we will be
able to celebrate Christ through the unique
expressions of faith, and be challenged to ‘Go
and make disciples of all the nations…’ (Matt
Our pilgrimages this year also include a postretreat in either a local city, or at Iguazu Falls.
This important inclusion gives pilgrims an
opportunity to process what has occurred
on pilgrimage, what they have celebrated at
WYD, and how they can take that experience
back into their local circumstances to really
live the mission of what WYD is all about!
WYD08 certainly gave exposure to the grace
that WYD is – however it cannot be seen as an
event that occurs every few years, but rather
as a part of the greater spiritual journey, led
by Christ who is leading us into different
situations so that ‘we may have the power to
understand, as all God’s people should, how
wide, how long, how high, and how deep his
love is’ (Eph 3:18).
- by Jake Ryan
Projects and Events Officer,
Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
Parents - Friends Grandparents
G iv e t h e g if t o f R IO !
Sponsor a yout
h & reboot their faith journey
Incentives Graduations
* Ages 16-35
Why not support a young pilgrim
and make a huge investment in their
Spiritual future?
Click here to download a form OR Call 1300 WYD RIO (1300 993 746) to make a contribution by phone
The Harvester

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