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Well it has to be the shortest job on my record, outside of locums, but I have resigned from my job at the Mater. The reasons are various and complex. The most important being that being tied down to a permanent job would have meant decreasing the number of other ‘mission’ opportunities. I would have had to have chosen between one or two things of the various offerings that are already stacking up.

I have to admit that I was also not feeling very challenged there compared to the level of autonomy of practice I experienced in remote area nursing. With so many people around to do the work, or wanting to get clinical experience, it often meant my day was fragmented by others coming and going and ending up not feeling as though I had the same connection with the patients as I did up north.

I think where I am headed is trying to find a balance between the ‘community mission’ and ‘nursing mission’ opportunities. This will be the challenge for the coming year. Already I have been approached to do 4 locums at Pormpuraaw, up in the Cape, where I was over Christmas – New Year.

Having a little more flexibility has also opened the possibility of spending a month in the Eurpean Province in the later half of the year. For me this will be an opportunity to stop along the road and see where I have come from and where I am going. London, of course, is the place where I began my Franciscan journey; and now I will be heading back there to reflect on that early sense of calling and where I am at now in my Franciscan journey. The end result being to make some move toward a decision to take life vows in SSF. For me this opportunity is as important as my need to find my place in the nursing world.

As they say, if it does not rain it pours – I have also been approached to guage my interest in taking on a school chaplaincy position in Tasmania. Tempting, very tempting, but an offer with not so good timing. But it was certainly nice to be approached.

I will also be using some of the freed up time to do some long needed professional development in nursing.

Pax

Nathan

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A number of people are requesting to know my whereabouts during the year. So I’ve installed a Google Calendar to try and add things in as they come up, so you can now know where I am (if its not blocked out them I’m generally in Brisbane at the Friary) and what time I have nothing particularly organised. I won’t be putting everything on here, but perhaps just some of the major stuff that people want to know for their various planning needs.

I had the evening shift tonight. Fairly constant kind of night, but not quite what one would call hectic. In the midst of the run of the mill events of the evening I discovered on of the children’s parents knew the Brothers, and indeed their mother was a friend of our late Br Francis, they also knew several of the longer standing parishioners in our parish. So much for 6 degrees of seperation she said, its more like two.

A second incident happened tonight which made me go home with a smile and feeling that I had made an impact on the people I care for. I had been looking after a young teenage boy who had been feeling quite unwell. Becuase of the frequent need to check on him during the evening we built up a bit of rapport with one another. As I was getting ready to leave he turned to his mum (who he would not let leave his side) and said ‘you can go now he can look after me’ and then in another breath said, ‘he could be my new dad; mum meet my new dad, dad meet my mum’. He then shook my hand and I headed off with a huge feeling of connection with another human being.

There is a sense of intimacy that develops, even during the briefest of moments of time together (particularly in the short actute phases of hospitisation). It is hard to explain, but it is more than just meeting someone, its about being in such a connectedness and openess of trust between one another that one finds a sense of union with the other.

For me, these are moments of divine grace, not too disimiliar as one might experience in the intimacy of the Eucharist. In being together with and for one another but each being still a part from the other there is a bond formed briefly but divinely in which we share being part of one united humanity in love and trust which is established by nature of how we come into relationship. It is these moments when I know with 100% certainty that God calls me to be in such union with others.

Further more I know this is not simply a professional response, its an answering to God’s call to be in divine union with others through the ministry of nursing. God continues to give me moments of grace when I can look into the face of God in others and answer ‘who will go for me – here I am Lord, send me’.

Blessings to all

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Diary Dates

9/5 - 11/5 Formation Intensive, SFC