Wed July 1

Arrived in Munich 5 pm Mon. After checking in to my hotel I went for a walk around the city….sunset was 9 pm. On Tues I caught the 10.20 am train to Berchtesgaden, arriving at 1pm. The hotel is high in the mountains – the scenery is just beautiful. This area is called Obersalzburg, & is where Hitler’s moutain retreat was. The whole area was a Nazi base & high up is the famous “Eagle’s Nest”. The hotel is wonderful & situated where a US military base used to be after WW2. I thought of those young American soldiers liberating Germany in May 1945, Did they wonder, as I did, how such a beautiful part of the world could produce the Nazis?

After settling in to my hotel room I walked 20 mins to an incredible museum, opened only 10 years ago – a permanent exhibition of the Nazi dictatorship & its presence here. It is possibly the best of its kind, & includes the bunkers erected underneath the mountains. Afterwards I walked along various mountain tracks back to the hotel. The scenery is breathtaking, incl little villages & snow-capped mountains. I had dinner on the balcony of the hotel as the sun set. It was so beautiful & quiet – a touch of paradise.

Wednesday was beautiful & sunny. I was up early & caught the bus to Kehlsteinhaus…otherwise known as the Eagle’s Nest. The view was amazing. I had conversation with Americans young & old, as well as some Aussies. After that I caught the bus down to Berchtesgaden & explored this lovely little town. There are 3 delightful churches in the Bavarian baroque style, as well as a small palace. I then walked to Maria Gern – a small village noted for its famous pilgrimage church . The footpath led across streams & thru forests…mainly uphill. I was glad to catch a bus back!

In the evening I had a real treat. One of the hotel staff, Stefan, offered to take me to a local farm-house for their weekly dinner. It was the real deal, complete with cows ringing their bells. All the food was home-made & was delicious. I was the only non-German, but managed to converse, thanks to my school German. The final bill was very cheap. Afterwards Stefan drove me back to the hotel thru the mountains as the sun was setting – very beautiful.

Thurs 2

Another sunny morning. I went for a walk thru the forest. When I got back to the hotel it started to rain. I caught the 2.15 pm bus to the town & had 30 mins before the train was due. Walked to the nearby Postamt to see the large wall mural of a young German in Lederhosen, holding aloft a banner. In the middle of the banner is a circle where a swastika once was – a small relic from the inglorious past! The train arrived in Munich at 5.30 pm. After dinner in the hotel I went exploring the town by night.

Fri 3

Checked out of the hotel & was at the airport early for my flight to Stockholm at 3.15 pm. I really like Munich airport – not too big or busy, & with nice facilities. I arrived at Stockholm at 6 pm & caught the train to the city, from where it was an easy walk to The Grand Hotel. The hotel is very nice – the place where Noble Prize recipiients always stay. I walked around to get my bearings, enjoying this city I have never visited. Later I explored the night lif in the old city, which is very quaint. It was very strange walking banck to the hotel at 1 am & seeing the sun start to rise!

Sat 4

I had a wonderful sleep-in, then explored the various churches, whilst trying to avoid Saty shoppers. The Church of Sweden is Lutheran, so the churches are austere & plain, with no decor or color, nor any atmosphere of prayer. I walked all around the old city, enjoying the old buildings, until a downpour of rain forced me to retreat to a cafe & have an early dinner. At 6 pm I went to an organ concert, which was excellent – concluding with Böellmann’s marvellous Suite Gothique. Put that on the list for my Requiem!

Sun 5

I attended 11 am Mass at St Peter’s Anglican Church – a lovely old English church. The Mass was nice & the choir excellent – 2 Latin anthems composed by the organist, Paul Timmins (esp sung for me, I discovered later!). Afterwards I was driven to Uppsala by Paul & his wife, Jenny, & their American friend, Mary, for a delightful lunch, after which Mary drove me back to Stockholm. It was so nice to relax over lunch in their home with enjoyable conversation about church, music & travel :-)

Mon 6

This morning I visited the cathedral – just in time for a HC service. Guitar hymns & 2 woman clergy….I did not stay! Then toured the Royal Palace, incl the treasury & 2 museums. I should make a list of all the palaces I have visited over the years! Saw the impressive changing of the guard at 12.15 pm. In the a/noon I walked around some of the islands that are part of the city – a pleasant walk.

Tues 7

Today was museum day. In the morning I walked to Skansen, a wonderful open-air museum created in 1891. Lovely farmhouses and other buildings brought here from their towns – It reminded me of a similar musem I visited in Romania in 1992. There were also Swedish animals, & friendly guides in costume. Then I went to the Nordic Museum. This is a very impressive renaissance castle built to house a collection of Swedish life & culture from 16th cent to present day.

Tonight is my last night here, so I shall go for a walk around the old city & watch the sun set at 10 pm! Tomorrow I have coffee with Paul Timmins at 9.30 pm, then catch 1.15 pm flight to Copenhagen, then to Chicago & San Diego.

Thurs 9

Arrived home at 10.15 pm last night, very tired. Always lovely to return to SD! Was in bed by 11.15 pm, but woke up at 2.15 am….European time :-(

It is real summer now – warm days & a lazy atmosphere. Even traffic is down. A busy morning in the office catching up. Homero, our sexton is away, so Ralph is cleaning. What a gr8 helper he is. One death whilst I was away – Norm – a good & faithful man. 6 pm Mass tonight, then home to bed!

Fri 10

I was very tired last night – slept for 7 hrs. Up early (still on Europe time) so was able to watch AFL football live from Melbourne on TV. Excellent game – 1 point victory to Collingwood :-)

Today was the usual Friday. At 6pm I went to the Summer Pops concert downtown, organised by SD Symphony. Tonight it was Dionne Warwick, one of my favourite singers. I have never been to these before, & decided it was about time I did go. It was gr8 sitting outdoors on a summer evening, chatting to people nearby. I had antipasto supper, which was nice.

Sat 11 – St Benedict

Thoughts & prayers for St Mark’s Abbey in Australia today. Today was Societies of Mary – 11 am Rosary, 11.30 am Mass followed by the usual excellent lunch. 20 present…a few away, but Fr Stephen Powers was with us. At 4.30 pm I attended the 50th birthday party for our treasurer, Sam Dreyer. Oh to be so young again! It was nice to sit in the sun with a few parishioners, enjoying their wonderful view. As aways, Bernadette gave me a “take home” pack of lovely food :-)

Sun 12

Very warm this morning. 45 at 8 am, 90 at 10 am  – attendances not bad, considering. Many expressed appreciation for the sermon, which pleased me because I wasn’t sure about it on Friday. 6 years ago today my appointment as Rector was announced in both San Diego & Fitzroy. Where has the time gone? In hindsight, hard to believe I was at St Mark’s 18 years. It was an emotional & sad day at St Mark’s – but also exciting for me as I looked forward to the adventure of moving to the USA.

Tues 14

The warm weather continues. Summer is a relaxing, slow time here – but there is still parish work to be done! In the a/noon I visited 3 older parshioners wth HC & in the evening attended a Bastille Day party @ Mike & Lisa’s.

Wed 15 – St Bonaventure…after whom Ventura is named.

Today is a similar pattern to yesterday….except no party in the evening! The actions of Gen Convention in approving gay bishops & gay marriage has stirred up controversy all over the world. Many parishioners expressed concern today.

Thurs 16 – Or Lady of Mt Carmel

I visited Mt Carmel in 1975! Lovely Requiem this morning for Norm Tuttle. Norm not only had my father’s name, he was born the same year (1920). He was married to June (my mother’s name) who died 3 months ago. 2 faithful parishioners now re-united in heaven :-)

Fri 17

Today is the birthday of 3 of my long-time friends. Ros is 60, so I phoned her. In our late teens I was president of St Bede’s youth group & she was secy…what fun we had in those innocent days! This morning I have 9.30 am Mass & 11 am Burial (Norm). Sermon this a/noon…..I want to continue my theme of evangelism from last week.

Sat 18

Today is the annual Gay Pride march… will not be able to move in Hillcrest! Traffic was crazy all day yesterday. I shall have a nice quiet day at home, working on the parish magazine.

Sun 19 – Pentecost 7

A very warm day – but attendances ok. 50 @ 8 AM, 90 @ 10 AM. I discovered that the MP3 player actually tells how long my sermon goes for…….14 mins today – more than I usually preach for. But you can’t teach people in just 10 mins! 

Mon 20 – St Margaret of Antioch

Today I give thanks for the Society of St Margaret in Walsingham, & for being a priest-associate. I also celebrate with the rest of the USA the 40th anniversary of the landing in the moon. I remember it well. I was a young man working in Pot Adelaide – we watched it at work, I think. Where has the time (& that sense of adventure) gone?

Tues 21

Only 3 at 12 noon Mass – it must be the warm weather! After Mass I met with Bob, our organist, to discuss the major renovations to the organ planned as our centenary project. This will involve an appeal for $250,000. Some people may think this is not the time for such an appeal – but when is the time? I will call on my experience from St Mark’s. In 1991 we launched an appeal for $250,000 from within a congregation of 65. We were all novices & the task seemed huge. 8 years later we had raised $1 mill & completed an amazing restoration of the church.  In the a/noon I installed a new printer on my computer (no mean feat!) & returned to the church for a special Vestry meeting at 7 pm.

A big surprise today was an email from Australia asking to interview me for a special football program on ABC radio in Adelaide on Saty. My fame as Port Adelaide’s long distant supporter & Club member for 44 years has caught up with me! I was subsequently phoned & interviewed at 9 pm by Peter Walsh – the football commentator I often listen to on the internet calling Port games. What a thrill :-)

Wed 22 – St Mary Magdalene

Usual Wed morning. After lunch took HC to parishioners. In the evening I am having dinner with Andrew & Craig – the 2 grandsons of June & Norm Tuttle who looked after them so well these past 12 months.

Thurs 23

Promos on Adelaide radio for my interview have been heard by friends. One I haven’t had contact with for 37 years emailed me! Today I spent the morning in the office & in the a/noon had 2 HC visits – My monthly visit to the ladies at Atria & then Christine Wallace, a redoubtable parishioner 97 years young! After 6 pm Mass 3 of the Thursday altar guild come to my condo for dinner: Norma, Sheila & Clare.

Fri 24

Fr Krulak is away for 2 weeks. A quiet Fri, other than Terry & I meeting with a Tel co about a new system for the phones & internet. At 7.45 pm I will be at the computer, listening to the radio from Adelaide for my interview. I have had to give up attending “Bye Bye Birdie” for this!

Sat 25 – St James

I have always liked St James – no doubt because of the incident when people did not accept Jesus’ message, & St James wanted to bring fire from heaven down up them! Rick & Linda were at 9 am Mass in matching Harry Potter tops…… is the Comic-Con w/e. A few emails from people in Aust who heard my radio interview. 

Sun 26 – Pentecost 8

A muggy day. Unusually after 8 am Mass I was sweating. 45 at 8 am, 90 at 10 am. No High Mass, because Fr Krulak is away – so I had to sing more, incl the gospel. The bishop of Nth Indiana & his wife were at 10 am & he praised me for my sermon….as did many parishioners. As a result of my sermon I noticed a more intense devotion at H C.

Tues 28

Another warm summer’s day. This time last year I was on my way to Sicily….so my Blog is 1 year old! Some parish visits this a/noon. I also have get my car smog-tested for its annual registration. It is now 21 years old!  

Wed 29 – St Martha

Ah, St Martha – she who was so busy in the kitchen! I offered Mass today for our Altar Guild & all those hard-working women who serve the priests so faithfully. Today is the 10th day the laundry in my condo block is closed. I am running out of clean clothes…..have asked George Garrison if I can use his! Another 1st tonight – am off to Hugh McArthur’s to have burgers from In N Out Burgers, courtesy of his grand-daughter, Sarah. My 1st experience of real American hamburgers since I came to SD 🙂 

Fri 31 – St Ignatius

This time last year I was in Rome, attending Mass at the Gesu’ for St Ignatius’ Day. Hard to believe that it is a year since I was in Sicily! Usual Fri today + tonight off to the Padres’ game :-)