|St. Christopher's Cathedral|
Sr. Rosemary and Jane then swung by the Youth Center and brought us over to Australian National University, where Sr. Rosemary did her graduate studies before joining the Dominican Sisters! As most students commute to uni in Australia, dorm life is not as popular as it is in The States. But because ANU is such a large university, they provide housing for students traveling from "the country," as well as international students. Instead of calling housing "dorms" as we do, they call them "colleges" (And suddenly the "uni-college" distinction makes sense). And while ANU does not have any religious affiliation, many of the colleges do! And wouldn't you know, one of the colleges has a Catholic and Dominican affiliation - John XXIII College! So naturally, we made a detour.
|Something not as popular at PC - bicycles!|
After exploring the college, we made our way back into town and properly explored St. Christopher's Cathedral. The stained glass windows were absolutely incredible, and we found a lovely statue of St. Dominic in the foyer - he is just following us everywhere (good thing)! We enjoyed an early dinner at a local cafe before Sister and Jane brought us back to the Youth Center, where we spent the rest of the night at the Youth Conference! Donning super cool name tags (I teased Joe for the rest of the night because mine read "Providence College Student Leader" while his only read "Providence College Student") we helped the members of the Archdiocese of Canberra create a new plan regarding how to approach the evangelization of youths in the area. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Catholic faith in Australia, and how the clergy and lay ministers are working to build a stronger Catholic identity for the Australian people.
|My lovely abode, courtesy of the wonderful Morgan's|
With the conference running late into the night - and staying even later by getting caught up in the friendly chatter - Nick and Jess were already fast asleep by the time I arrived home. As I tip-toed down the dark hallway planning what I would write in a thank-you note to them, I flicked the light on in my room and was met with bright orange gift bag, as well as a card with my name on it. This has become a theme of my fellowship - immeasurable hospitality, and my struggle to accept it. Inside the bag were a package of Tim Tams and a copy of a poster that I had admired in their home - I had mentioned these two things to the lovely couple on my first night with them during dinner. Not only had they remembered, but they went out of their way to make sure I left with them. When I woke the next morning and gave them each a farewell hug, I couldn't find the words to express my gratitude. Another moment of pure speechlessness. The look on Jess' face said it all, and I was thankful she understood how overwhelmed by joy I felt.
|The Youth Center Staff|