And the Joy of Friends!

I was leaving work this afternoon, and saw a colourful bunch of characters making their way through the Carpark from the Cathedral. They were the staff, students and friends of the John Paul II Institute, having just celebrated their graduation in St Patrick’s, on their way back to the Thomas Carr Centre for drinks and nibblets. I spied immediately (very hard to miss – given that he is about 10 feet tall and was wearing the bright red robes of a Doctor of Philosophy), my friend and fellow-ex-Lutheran, Dr Adam Cooper, and stopped the car at the gate to call out my greetings. Then, to my surprise, I espied my other long time friend and fellow-ex-Lutheran, Peter Holmes! Seems he had come down from Sydney to have a Graduate Diploma conferred upon him. This is despite the fact that he already has his Masters Degree and (almost) a PhD. Apparently he finally fulfilled all the requirements for this minor certificate which he began years ago.

Well, I quickly decided to postpone my rather mundane plans for the evening, reparked the car, and joined my amigos over at the JPII Centre. Many other friends and colleagues were present, including Br Robert OP (a reader of this blog) and another fellow convert (from the UCA) and now lecturer at JPII, Dr Colin Patterson. But it was a real thrill to be together with Adam and Peter. In fact, we realised, that despite all of us being closely tied in our journey’s (and, it seems, our fates), we had never, all three, been in the same room before together.

So here is a photo of the three of us just to prove that it happened. An absent mentor looks on via his effigy from behind! You will note that I am not wearing anything remotely academic. I have decided that I am probably more accurately to be termed an “autodidact” than an “academic” in strict terms! And proud of it!!

About Schütz

I am a PhD candidate & sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. After almost 10 years in ministry as a Lutheran pastor, I was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. I worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 18 years in Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations. I have been editor of Gesher for the Council of Christians & Jews and am guest editor of the historical journal “Footprints”. I have a passion for pilgrimage and pioneered the MacKillop Woods Way.
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