Hello everyone, I pray that you are well and at peace.
After world youth day ended we had another couple of weeks before we were due to leave Sydney and nothing had been arranged in the way of talks.It was to be an amazing time when God really intervened with the things he wanted us to do.
First of all a Sydney businessman called Peter arranged for me to speak in his son's school ( Kings college ) to 1200 boys, I felt thankful to God for this chance to speak to his children and for the grace that came from it. Because of Peter's help this opened the door also to speak in Barker college to 3 different groups of students, each of around 300. Many of the young people told me how much hope my story had given to them. It is a great joy that God will guide us in even the smallest things if we really surrender our lives to him.
Next we headed off to the Hunter Valley for a 3 day break to see a bit of Australia. The first morning I was there, I went to confession to the local Priest. To my amazement he had purchased my book at World Youth Day and he ended up asking me to speak at the weekend masses. Again I felt the joy of knowing this was all God's plan. After the talks Two different men came up to me with tears rolling down their faces and explained how much God had helped them through my story and strengthened them in his love. Each one of us is so precious to God that he is always looking for new ways to show that love. There are no coincidences if our eyes are open to him working in and around us.
After one of the Masses a young boy called Matthew, who had heard me speak, came up to me and asked me if I would come and speak in his primary school. He had already spoken to the local nun Sr Mary and she was in agreement that I should come. How could I say no? Children are so open to God and are a great witness to me of how they keep things simple and joyful. Sure enough I was in the school on the monday morning speaking to 300 primary school kids. I didn't feel tired after these talks, I felt renewed and refreshed, once again the words of Jesus "There is more joy in giving than receiving" rang true in my heart.
The last day (Sunday) that we spent in Australia we went to visit a community called the Servants of Jesus, they are an ecumenical community with both Catholics and Protestants working together to serve the Lord. What a blessing it was to share with them the story of God's mercy in my life. It was incredible to see the power of God working in them and their openess to the Holy Spirit and the great desire they have to serve him in whatever way he chooses. I knew I was exactly where God wanted me and I thanked him for letting play a part in his plans.
The day before my visit to the Servants of Jesus, I received a phone call from my old friend Fr Richard Aladics. He had just arrived in Sydney to start in his new post as chaplin to Campion College. He asked if I could come and speak to the students on the Sunday afternoon. I said it would be my pleasure and when I looked at the Map to see where Campion college was located I saw that it was five minutes away from the Servants of Jesus. I was just blown away by the perfection of God and how he moves us around like pawns on a chess board if we let him. It was so great to meet up with Fr Richard and at same time share my story with his students and to see the great plans God has for their lives.
You and all your loved ones are in my prayers.
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