Apologies for my prolonged abscence while being away from substantial internet access; I will endeavour to return again posting when I have the opportunity.
Tomorrow is my fiftieth birthday. 1961 was, as you know, a good year for babies and much has changed in life since then. For twenty-three of my fifty years I have been a priest. In fact, for me the greatest change of my life was when God not only took me and transformed me from being a man of the world to being a man of God, but went on to give me a share in the Priesthood of His only Son. I never expected this when I was young and I am still full of wonder because of it. A second 'transition in grace' took place two and a half years ago when I was called on mission to Australia and now find myself helping to form future priests; and I know that the Holy Spirit has found many generous young hearts in His great Southern Land.
In some way, I am amazed when I look back at the five decades of my life and wonder how I have emerged so untramelled by the bewilderment and confusion of this age. Take for instance, the new religion spawned by Corpus Christi Catechetical College in London and its agents, who came to virtually every school and parish in the late 60s and 70s pedelling their neo-Pelagianism (many of whom are still abroad in the land), but inspite of their crazed activity I imbibed the Faith of the Church instead.
I love the Church in Sydney and my little part in its Mission, but I miss too all my family and friends in the UK, not least the great crowd of priests and young people (and not so young), mostly from Youth 2000, who held a magnificent surprise party for me yesterday just outside London. I was overwhelmed!
Incidentally, Bob Dylan will be 70 in a few months time!