The Blue Room in CRC was offered to us in late 2019 and I immediately went and had a look. My response was, YYYYEEEESSSSS!! The potential was obvious and a great improvement on our existing setup. After some conversations and waiting the move was on! We packed up many boxes of files, books, paraphernalia and all else which became a massive pile on the floor of the new office. To move everything we hired a truck for many trips from the Monastery to the backdoor of CRC. Lending a generous had were Brs. Col Sinclair and Ted Merritt (visiting from the NT). We had new points installed for online, computer and power. We purchased some new furniture and compactus, which Tony Caruana helped us put together. He also gave us some library shelving which he put together for us to take all the books and more bits and pieces. A big thanks Tony for your generous effort and support!
We moved out of five rooms in the Monastery and now have everything in this one space with enough room for desks and office equipment, and adequate space for meetings and gatherings. Big windows on two sides give us great light and a great view. It is quiet, comfortable and a great place to work. We intended to complete the move immediately and free the rooms for the Monastery. However lockdown came to prevent this. I moved to CRC for some months and our operation went ahead. We have now completed the move with all rooms being now re-purposed for the Monastery.
The view from the window was a hill with unmanageable grass. It has now become “Mission Hill” covered in native shrubs, bushes and groundcover, with pumpkins and tomatoes courtesy of the compost. I have put large amounts of compost into the soil as “carbon sink” which gives much nutrition to the plants. As it grows it will cover the hill, bring the birds and delight us with flowers.
Blessing and Celebration
Our plan was to have a blessing and opening of the new Mission Office in 2020, but like many other things it did not happen. This took place on 14th February and was truly a great day. We had about 35 people for the day with tea/coffee at 10am, blessing at 10.30, followed by drinks and lunch. Present were MSC, OLSH, friends and staff, who caught up with each other, made new friends and told many stories. A great thanks to Br Gerard Shanley as Master Chef for his cooking and catering which all enjoyed. Our thanks also to our Provincial Chris McPhee for his presence, leadership and support for our work and apostolate.
The Office was blessed by water and prayer, but more importantly by the people who brought themselves with their gifts, talents, experience and relationship. Their presence here was the great blessing of the day. After all had gone I was alone in the Office locking up. In the silence and contentment of the day I realized that I was now in SACRED SPACE! The whole day, all who attended and the interactions of the day left with us a place sacred, holy and special.
We spoke of a new beginning for the MSC Mission Office with a new Office and new Director. We continue with what is established, look for new methods and techniques and new direction. When the pandemic is over and we emerge as people changed and renewed, we look forward to a stronger, renewed and more dynamic mission apostolate. The Mission is truly Alive.
Fr Roger Purcell msc