July 14

After my wonderful trip to Germany it took me a week to get over jetlag. Lots of practical things to do, of course, as well as contacting friends. There was also the usual round of medical appointments. Last weekend I went to Adelaide for a Port Adelaide home game, which was very enjoyable, as we won! There was the usual catching up with friends & with my cousin, Noelene. I also found time to visit Semaphore, where I grew up, which was a nice exercise in nostalgia & reflection. This weekend Port Adelaide are playing in Alice Springs – so I will be watching the game at the pub where our Vic supporters group meets. 

Sep 29

It has been ages since I updated my Blog. The reason is what Americans call, “same old, same old”! The weeks are much the same with no trips to post pics of. Every 2nd weekend I go to Adelaide to see Port Adelaide play at home. As well as the footy I catch up with my cousin, Noelene & other friends, & also do some exploring of my home town. A highlight was visiting the new Port Club social rooms. It is a wonderful new development with a great restaurant, where I had lunch, a bar with outdoor area, museum & shop. When Port has played in Melbourne I book an AFL members lunch/dinner for the game – usually taking my friend, Peter. Unfortunately Port had a bad season & weren’t in the Finals. However I went to the MCG Finals, which were exciting, & bought a Grand Final package, which wasn’t exciting! Now the season is over I am off overseas. On Tuesday I fly to London, then explore by train France, Spain & Germany.

Oct 16

My flights to London were good. Altho it took me all week to get over jet-lag, I had a nice week in London catching up with friends, particularly at St Magnus last Sunday. On Wed I caught Eurostar to Paris & had 2 nights there. It was exactly 20 years since my last visit, which was significant in that I had come from San Diego where I was 1st asked to consider going to All Saints. On Thursday I walked for 3.5 hours around the city: Notre Dame, Eifel tower, Arc de Triomphe & other interesting sites.

Friday I caught the train to Barcelona. It is 10 years since I was last here. On Saturday I went walking for 3 hours & explored the Diocesan Museum. Today I went to Mass at Gaudi’s fantastic Basilica of the Holy Family. Despite arriving 30 mins early, there was a long line of people waiting to get in. So I went to the security office, produced my All Saints, San Diego card, explained I was a priest & asked if I could get into the Mass. A young woman made several phone calls & then I was allowed in. When I entered the church another young woman was expecting me. She took me to a young man, who ushered me to the sacristy. I explained that I just wanted to attend the Mass, but a nice priest insisted I participate as a priest.

I was made very welcome by the friendly servers & clergy & given vestments to wear………I was to be a concelebrant of the Mass celebrated by the visiting bishop of Lima. The parish priest introduced himself & asked me to say part of the Eucharistic Prayer in English. So I was to concelebrate Solemn Mass with a congregation of 400 & also distribute Holy Communion. What a privilege & unexpected joy!

Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona, concelebrated Mass
Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona, concelebrated Mass
Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona, concelebrated Mass
Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona, concelebrated Mass
Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona, concelebrated Mass
Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona, concelebrated Mass
Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona, concelebrated Mass
Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona, concelebrated Mass

Sun Oct 30

After that wonderful Sunday in Barcelona I caught the train to Madrid next day. I had a relaxing 2 days in Madrid, then 3 days in Valencia. It was an interesting city & I enjoyed the various churches. The cathedral was esp beautiful & I attended Mass in the chapel of the Holy Grail. It was very warm for the 3 days I was there & I enjoying having dinner in a local outdoor restaurant each night. Great food & staff! Back to Madrid Saturday & on Sunday I attended Mass in the magnificent cathedral.

Various churches in Cologne October 2022
Various churches in Cologne October 2022
Various churches in Cologne October 2022
Various churches in Cologne October 2022

On Monday 24th I flew to Berlin because I wanted to experience the new Berlin airport. I had booked flights 10 years ago when it was supposed to open, but the opening was delayed due to construction problems – unusual for Germany. I was welcomed back to the Berlin Hilton & had 3 relaxing days. Wednesday I went to a free concert by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. On Thursday I caught the train to Cologne & am here until Tuesday. I have enjoyed wandering around & visiting various churches. On Friday I went to the Gestapo Museum. A fascinating & enlightening 4 hours. Cologne resisted the Nazis more than other German cities, until they siezed power in 1936. This was due to its liberal outlook & being 75% catholic. The Mayor at that time was Konrad Adenauer, who became the 1st leader of West Germany.

This morning I went to Mass in Koln Dom & tonight will attend a JS Bach concert in St Ursula’s basilica.

Mon Nov 7

After a pleasant 5 days in Koln I caught the train to Hannover on Tuesday. I was able to attend evening Mass for both All Saints & All Souls in St Clements Dom. On Wed I went to Hildesheim. The main attraction was the Dom, which has a 1,000 year old rose bush growing on the outside of the apse. At the reformation the cathedral remained catholic, even tho the town converted to Lutheranism. Today it still has a large catholic population & the Dom is a thriving centre of worship & evangelism. Thursday I wandered around Hannover, discovering parts of the city I had not seen before. On Friday I returned to Koln for a relaxing final weekend. Each day I wandered around the inner city & found churches that I had not visited before.

Today I caught the train to Frankfurt airport & am staying in an airport hotel tonight. Tomorrow I fly back to Melbourne. It has been a good trip. Now I look forward to returning home……& planning the next trip!