For our “Left Behind” series, we were able to have an exclusive interview with Richard Valenti at his hotel.Q:
Mr. Valenti, we encountered you at the airport looking distressed over your missed flight. What happened?Mr. Valenti:
Well, we were just coming back to Sydney from Adelaide after filming a series of television shows for Salt + Light, and our flight was delayed by 20 minutes, which was just enough time to cause us to miss the connecting flight to Toronto. First thing we did was to try and find an alternative flight home, and we were told that there was a possibility we could get on a flight Saturday morning, but there were no guarantees. So we booked this airport hotel and will try to fly out tomorrow morning.Q:
How did you enjoy your time in Adelaide?Mr. Valenti:
Adelaide was great. We met a lot of good people, like John Luttrell who helped us get around. We also had a wonderful encounter with Archbishop Philip Wilson, who had us over for tea and biscuits, and we had great conversations about his everyday life. There was also the time we went to feed the kangaroos. I wasn’t so interested in that. I was more interested in tasting them than petting them. However, after having one of the baby kangaroos slobber all over my hand, I had a slight change of heart and don’t think I’ll be eating kangaroo any time soon.Q:
I understand you were also visiting some schools in Adelaide for your documentary on Blessed Mary MacKillop?Mr. Valenti:
Yes, we went to a few different schools. One that stood out in my mind was St. Ignatius’, which is a co-ed school with a beautiful modern-looking chapel. The kids were all playing in the schoolyard, but not just the kids. My producer Mary Rose Bacani and the Salt + Light chaplain on the trip, Fr. Stefano Cascio, got a little too carried away with Australian handball. No one was injured though -- I think.Q:
How would you sum up your stay here?Mr. Valenti:
As a Catholic, I strongly believe that God has a plan for us and that everything that happens in our lives happens for a reason. The past few weeks have been wonderful, but very intense. We are working very hard, and I had a hard time experiencing the spiritual. I tend to feel that us missing our flight was a way for God to say to us, "Just take a couple of days and rest. You worked really hard."
It also gave me a chance to spend a little bit more time with my friend, Fr. Stefano, whom I probably won’t see for a very long time. And I was able to receive a blessing from him, which I think will go a long way.Q:
Thank you for your time, Mr. Valenti. Enjoy the rest of your time in Adelaide, and have a safe trip back to Toronto.