This weekend Sydney hosted three major events: the canonisation of Mary MacKillop, the international Motor Show, and Sexpo. Saints, sinners and those dirty stinking motor cars.
Sister Mary MacKillop gained sainthood on the strength of verified miracles, one being the unexpected cure of a terminally ill cancer patient. But not everyone is convinced.
A middle-aged exhibitor from Sexpo freely acknowledged MacKillop's ‘incredible courage and work with the disadvantaged’ but was unconvinced by the miracle stuff. “I don't know how they say she actually created miracles,” he commented. “Lots of incredible stuff happens in life, every day, without explanation."
Lately my own family have been praying for a miracle to cure a favourite aunty, Nell. As an ex-Sister of Charity nun, Nell was particularly devoted to Mary MacKillop with whom she also shared a Scottish heritage, and life-long commitment to charity and education.
All year Nell has battled inoperable cancer and finally yesterday, in a gesture of poetic timing passed away, just hours before MacKillop’s canonization. It was as if to mark the auspicious day she’d been granted a blessed release from the hideous disease.
She was 75 years old, now at peace.
Late last night I collected a young woman from the Opera bar, across the water from the Harbour Bridge. We spoke of the towering images of MacKillop projected in soft hues onto the Bridge pylons. A stunning backdrop for the Opera bar, she reported.
As we crossed the harbour she joyously recalled a recent European vacation when she accompaned her practising Catholic girlfriend to Lourdes, the holy shrine in France.
“I’ve been to Italy, the Vatican and Spain,” she said. “But I’ve never seen such displays of faith and religious emotion like I witnessed in Lourdes.”
‘To see such vast numbers of sick and broken pilgrims hoping for a miracle was inspirational…and overwhelming, too. It had me in tears for a day and a half. And I’m not even Catholic!”
It doesn’t matter, I assured her, miracles happen to anyone, believers or non-believers.
She thanked me for the chat and offered a tip but it wasn’t necessary. I was happy enough from the cordial company.
Sydney's Shakespeare memorial was created in 1926 and occupies a commanding positon outside the Mitchell library, on the median strip, smogified. This week Bill and five of his best characters have been glammed-up to celebrate...fashion! (Enlarge image).
After spending the weekend dodging delirious football drunks, wasted concert ravers and assorted waywoold fleas I’m relieved to have survived the big party weekend. And the events season has only just begun, the bigest challenge.
The volume of revelers covered for losing revenue when discriminating late at night and through the early morning. This is a good approach when the city’s going off, especially whilst enduring the pressure of intermittent squalls and drissle, and double demerit penalities.
It was finally at 3am Monday morning when I tempted fate with a pick up on the Kings Cross clubbing strip of Bayswater Road. A calculated risk I was able to handle despite some moronic provocation...