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ADELAIDE: Day 2 — Meeting Vincent and the Gang

Mary Rose Bacani Valenti

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I’d like to tell you about Vincent, but not after I tell you about my morning’s interviews.The group of us went to the Archdiocesan office in Adelaide and met up with the auxiliary bishop of Adelaide, Bishop Greg O'Kelly, who happens to be a Jesuit with a lot of knowledge about Blessed Mary MacKillop. Chris McWilliams in the Communications office also gave us a lot of leads to where we can go to get good footage on Mary MacKillop.
We then went to Mary MacKillop Place, which reminded me of the MacKillop exhibition we went to in north Sydney. We interviewed a couple of the Sisters there, including the Provincial. There was a big record book in the Mary MacKillop Place of the orphans Mary MacKillop and her Josephite Sisters took in in the early days. It had descriptions of these children like, “Mother is a prostitute” or “These three were left behind” or “Had disease”. Mary MacKillop made it a point to respond to a need wherever it exists and whenever she and her sisters can respond to it. The individual names and situations of these orphans brought to life the work that she did.
Tomorrow we will go to the chapel where Mary MacKillop was excommunicated. More on that later!
mrwithvincentroo.jpgAnother mission accomplished – I have finally met my first koala (Vincent is his name) and my first kangaroos, wallabies, emus and dingoes. This afternoon, Fr. Stefano, Kris, Richard and I went to the Cleland Wildlife Park (I believe that’s the name) and met the whole gang.
First, we bought a bag of food for the kangaroos for $2. It looked like Kibbles for cats. We went to visit Vincent the koala, who has sensitive hearing -- as all koalas do.   We were very excited to see him and in all the excitement we were talking loud and had to be reminded to keep our voices down.  When people talk loud, the koala gets irritated by this, and stops eating and stares out into space, unresponsive, until we start calming down again.  And then he gets friendly once more.  He doesn’t like kangaroo food, but loves eucalyptus leaves. We proceeded to feed the kangaroos, where we spent most of our time actually, as they slobbered all over our hands. Yuck! But it was fun, and all part of the Australian experience.

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