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News from Mackay

15 March, 2023
Graham Featherstone, Fr Matthias and Mick Camilleri

Kevin welcomed everyone including Fr Matthias Ogwa Parish Priest Southern Cluster Mackay who was our guest speaker.

Reflection by Rex:-

Developing Joy”. Psalm 28.7 says; ‘My heart leaps for joy.’ Joy is like a muscle; the more you develop it the stronger it becomes. Two exercises that will help you develop inner joy are; firstly, show more gratitude. “Give thanks in all circumstances.” Gratitude gives you emotional energy so send a friend a thank-you note, call someone, and tell them how thankful you are for their help. And remember to be grateful to God. Start singing praises to God and watch your attitude change.

Secondly, to develop joy, look for ways to giveGod loves a cheerful giver because when you give cheerfully you are most like God. He doesn’t give grudgingly but generously. Look at what He says to Malachi (3:10); if you give Him first from your income, He will throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so many blessings… You cannot out-give God, so develop your joy with giving and gratitude. Amen.

After the reflection, Father Bill Senn said Grace and then we had an enjoyable meal.

Graham introduced Fr. Matthias our guest speaker. During Covid we got to know Fr. Matthias from the YouTube broadcast at 9.30 am each Sunday morning from St Joseph’s Cathedral with Bishop Michael when our Mass centres were closed.

Fr Matthias thanked us for this opportunity to tell his story. He is from Nigeria on a mission to Australia. Fr James and Fr Simeon were his classmates and their research in Australia focused on poisonous snakes. After 5 years, no snakes! Thank God.  Arriving in 2018, Fr Matthias finds Australia wonderful, with a strange culture of food, accent, the huge distances and incomprehensible slang. What is a ‘chook’? How do you eat ‘Tea’? When someone says ‘Come for tea’. Especially if it is lamb for tea!

These early-day challenges continued along with great experiences ‘Out west’ then in Clermont, mining towns, Emerald, and the Gemfields.  In these small towns all know each other and work together – Unity in Christ -, especially in the tough times like drought.  Father spent three’ years in Rocky. He has learned many new things in this very different world from Nigeria.

Fr Matthias said Australia is about 8 times the size of Nigeria. The food here is great! Males in Africa don’t cook so he had to learn quickly. He had to learn house duties. Learning for life is a good idea and in Australia, we are so blessed. This country is so very civilized and peaceful. Thank you, God, for blessing Australia.  In Nigeria, recent elections brought serious unrest, and corruption is very normal. Any government in Australia is better than the governments in Africa. Nigeria has 200 million people, and 70% are youths under 14. Life expectancy is about 55 years, medical services are scarce. Fr Mathias also spoke about criminal activity and the national religious culture.

Father took many questions, a number concerning slang.  He laughed, the group laughed, and he and the members weren’t concerned about the time as the night went on.  They thoroughly enjoyed his company and his entertaining talk and reminded him he is very welcome at our dinners.

A most enjoyable evening as usual. The next dinner will be held on Monday 24th April at 6.30 pm for a 7 pm start at the Boomerang Hotel Nebo Rd (Note City Bowls is in renovation mode). Visitors are always welcome.