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January 22, 2016 / cmfletcher



119Mornington Harbor

View of the Melbourne bay from Mornington

After a good sleep, we got up ready to explore Melbourne. We were staying with Joseph and Soonie Santamaria, good friends of Fr. Bob. Peter navigated through the Melbourne traffic with no trouble, and we found they live in a wonderful historic Victorian house, the one time home of the Governor General of Australia. Soonie designed an addition to fit their family and we felt right at home. However, we didn’t get our bags out of the car because we had good weather and were going down to the Mornington Pennisula, the eastern side of Melbourne harbor. We had a great day on the beach and that night ate dinner on the dock.

120Tarrawarra Abbey church

The sanctuary at Tarrawarra Abbey

Wednesday Peter and I drove up to the Yarra Valley wine-making region. We wanted to see some wineries and in the afternoon go to Tarrawarra Abbey, a Cistercian abbey to meet Fr. Michael Casey.  It was a wonderful chance to have a conversation with an author I deeply admire. He told us about the Abbey Church furniture on the altar which as you see is all made of big blocks of cedar. The architect had designed this, but the monks couldn’t afford the wood. A friend of the abbey told them her neighbor had some cedar trees that had suffered in a wild fire. The man donated the trees and the monks had them milled and finally had their altar as it was designed to be.

Thursday we went into Melbourne city center and enjoyed the wonderful public transportation, and the beauty of this city on the Yarra river. The Santamarias told us that Melbourne and Vancouver vie for the most livable city award. We enjoyed seeing St Patrick’s Cathedral and garden with the statue of St Mary McKillop, Australia’s first saint.

Later we rode the tram around the free zone in the center and went to the Aquarium, always fun.

That night I had a presentation at St Michael’s Anglican Church  arranged  by Gordon Preece, Director of Ethos, EA Center for Christianity and Society. We had a good crowd and an enjoyable evening talking about Dorothy L. Sayers and her theology of work. All in all a wonderful visit to a great city with great people. 121 St Michaels Anglican Church

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