Day 2 Rochester

11 Jun

Today started quietly enough.  A quiet breakfast in Chatwell’s Café and then back to register for the conference and pay my fees etc.  Got the conference kit and sorted some stuff before lunch.  Shared lunch with some staff at the College before going back for an afternoon nap for an hour.
Then was joined by new roomie from Canada, Father Al who has been to all but one of these conferences, that is, he has being doing this for over 20 years.  Amazing guy – knows everyone and has taken me under his wing and introduced me to key players and helped me work out my program. Have met key Merton scholars such as Jonathan Montaldo, Paul Pearson, Christine Bochen, Don Greystone, Kathleen Deigan (had dinner with her – amazing lady) and more. In discussion with Paul Pearson from the Merton Centre will look at ways to reinvigorate interest in Merton and the ITMS in Sydney etc.  Very exciting. For me this is simply mind boggling, just being here is something I never dreamed possible, but to be in the same room as all these amazing people and have them treat you as an equal and to value your ideas and thoughts, is so unusual for me.  It confirms that I am not, as I feel at home in Australia, a second rate person who will never be treated as an equal by the church (no final ordination) or by the academic community who institute a class structure based on degrees.  Here I am deemed to have something to say and my knowledge is valuable.  Lots of interest in my clown spirituality and work with young men, several have asked if I am doing a paper on this here.  Perhaps that’s for Chicago in 2011.  Regardless already this time has reinvigorated my desire to offer Merton retreats and seminars as well as on clown spirituality and to do something constructive for ITMS in Australia. I can’t wait for Thursday.  

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