Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends (my absolute favourite USA holiday)... hmmmmm pumpkin pie.
The act of giving thanks is something that I wish could be the focus of every week; I'm thankful for connections and for long lasting friendships // good memories. What are you thankful for this thanksgiving?
This week's shenanigans are below...
ARTICLES + BOOK
I’ve read quite a few articles this week on spirituality + a book that my mentor has given me. I’ve found twitter is a great way to get the latest news. Global Sisters Report is a great source for articles + New Ways Ministry had a really inspiring article regarding Sr Monica and her work with LGBT people: CLICK to READ ARTICLE.
We ALL deserve love and dignity… that’s what the simplicity and compassion of Jesus teaches us to do.
Sr Joan Chittister is one of my favourite speakers and authors. She is the author of The Story of Ruth which i was given to read. This book breaks broke down 12 moments in every woman’s life and references the book of Ruth from start to finish throughout. It makes for smooth and empathetic reading. The artwork by John August Swanson was very much appreciated too - it’s slightly abstract, contemporary and relevant: VIEW BOOK.
I was very fortunate to have been able to nab a last minute spot on a one day course by STARTTS (NSW Service for the Treatment And Rehabilitation of Torture And Trauma Survivors): www.starts.org.au
The course was designed by members of the VIDC Visitors Group in conjunction with STARTTS. The workshop focused on understanding who refugees and asylum seekers are and the various emotional and stressful challenges they encounter. The training was directed towards volunteers going to Villawood detention centre and also those working in the community with refugees. It was wonderful to interact with others there and gain a huge amount of new knowledge all in one day… Never stop learning!
SASS + Humans of Detention
When i go to the detention centre each week I go as part of a group (SASS - Supporting Asylum Seekers Sydney). We had a meeting on Saturday that was very enlightening. I felt a bit overwhelmed to hear some of the stories from other volunteers and also gain knowledge on some of the recent Australian Government law changes.
It is lovely to gain a sense of solidarity (although i’ll admit that wish it was for another happier purpose!).
We are all out-raged at the lack of equality and loss of human dignity that is caused by the Australian government at the hands of it’s immigration policies.
My visit this week to the detention centre was as good as it can be… Thankfully we are all ‘glass half full’ volunteers and we are choosing to focus on what we CAN do. Going there, sharing stories, smiles and support.
Some of the students involved have created a website and Facebook page. I’m currently thinking up some ideas for artwork of them. Please check them out:
http://www.humansofdetention.com/ + https://www.facebook.com/HumansOfDetention/
SAINT CARDS PERU
One of our sisters sent through some lovely pics of my Gozo Bonkers Saint Cards this week in Peru. I thought you might enjoy them. It’s amazing to see how far the cards are traveling.
FYI: The Saint Cards are on hold at the moment while i’m on my Canonical Year. More to come soon. Please see the website and facebook page to keep up to date // for more: gozobonkers.com
WALKING // RUNNING
I managed to fit a fair amount of walking around Sydney this week (some pics below). I’ve found it’s really crucial to MAKE time for walking, especially after something like the STARTTS course. I also make sure I eat healthy; sustenance keeps me moving. I'm a big breakfast fan, and a fan of small meals (a grazer) - pic below of my daily brekkie - cherries are in season at the mo - yum!
Walking helps me to let all the information sink in too. Thinking through an Examen helps to realise what has struck me and what was important to take forward. A bit of music is a good option too… cheesy 80’s tunes anyone?
Key points from the week:
Never stop learning + Say YES to things that scare you + MAKE time for exercise + Focus on gratitude