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Retreat . . . at a chalet! | Blog of a Country Priest

Retreat . . . at a chalet!

The Hamilton parish is free of me this weekend. I’m accompanying some of our youth group leaders on a spiritual retreat in Harrietville. The retreat venue, I’m told, is the Feathertop Chalet in Harrietville. How cool does that sound? When I hear “chalet,” I picture something like this:

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Pictured: what I imagine to be a typical mountain chalet!

But maybe my expectations have been heightened since my own retreat in September. That was at the Kenthurst Study Centre near Sydney, which one blogger has called, “Australia’s answer to the Vatican.” I’m not sure about that, but Kenthurst sure is nice:

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Pictured: Pope Benedict offering Mass in Kenthurst’s beautiful chapel

A bush setting, a beautiful Marian shrine, high ceilings, open fire places and a swimming pool. Not quite a chalet, but something to write home about, and a place which might have skewed my expectations of retreat centres.

But no . . . my online investigation suggests Feathertop Chalet really is up there with Kenthurst and the chalet pictured. Actually, maybe Feathertop is even better. Only one of the three has its own mini-golf course:

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Not pictured: Kenthurst Study Centre and/or my imagined chalet!

But of course, we’re not really going to this retreat to rate the accommodation. I hope and pray the retreat is a time of grace and renewal for my young parishioners, and the other retreatants.

Here’s Fr Rob — a good friend and erstwhile classmate — to explain the weekend:

I think there’s about one hundred young people going. Spare them a prayer!

  • Joel

    You didn’t get a mention.

    Stiff.

    • Anne

      Joel what did you mean “you didnt get a mention. stiff” what are you referring to?

      • Joel

        Our dear blogging priest attended the retreat, but Fr Rob’s promo mentioned only himself , Pat Keady (?) and an overrated golfer from Bendigo, Fr Jake Mudge. Let’s face it: Ballarat clergy rarely are a draw-card.

      • I’m fair game, but knocking the saintly Father Jake? There must be a special place in Hell for that offence. Get thee to a confessional!

      • Anne

        Fr Could I help Joel do you think? with some counselling maybe?

      • He’s all yours Anne. I’ve concluded he’s a lost cause! Ha ha.

  • Anne

    Nah not a lost cause, I am the best there is in my field. Can sort Joel out easy.
    Be good Joel

  • Simon Hogan

    I thought you were talking a stiff whisky! Joel you better watch out talking about golf in Ballarat dicoese especially to Eugene Mackinnon! I am a golfer too! What about you Joel?

    Anway there is some jokes more on way before Christmas!

    JOKE OF THE WEEK

    A married couple, both avid golfers, was discussing the future one night.

    “Honey”, the wife said, “if I were to die and you were to remarry, would you two live in this house?”

    “I suppose so – it’s paid for.”

    “How about our car? Continued the woman. “Would the two of you keep that?

    “I suppose so – it’s paid for.”

    “What about my golf clubs? Would you let her use them too?

    “Heck, no,” the husband blurted out. “She is left-handed.”

    Here is another one.

    A woman goes to the Doctor in Glemanner.

    The Doc asks: “What’s the problem, Janet?

    The woman says: “Weeell Doctor Cameron, I dinnae know what to do. Every time ma auld man comes home drunk, he threatens to slap me aroon’.”

    The Doctor says: “Aye, well… I have a real good cure for that. When your husband arrives home intoxicated, just take a wee glass of water and start swishing it in your mouth. Just swish and swish but don’t swallow it until he goes to bed and is sound asleep.”

    Two weeks later she comes back to the doctor looking fresh and reborn. She says: “Doctor that was a effin brilliant! Evrae time ma auld man came home pished, I swished with water. I swished an’ swished, and he didnae to uch me even once!

    Tell me Doc….wha’s the secret? How’s the water do that?”

    The Doctor says: “Janet hen, it’s really nae big secret. The water does bugger all…it’s keeping your mouth shut that does the trick….”

    • Joel

      Yeah mate, I play. Thing is, I’ve never played with Fr Jake. But every priest and his assistant keeps telling me he hits a good ball. It would seem we go around in pretty similar numbers, so it’d be interesting.

      We’ll get around to it some day. I’ll let you know how it goes…

  • Simon Hogan

    Will have to a have round with you one day Joel. What is your handicap? Mine is 21. My home club is Warrnambool golf club and it is also home of Marc Lieshmann – the only Australian to win a US tour this year!

  • Joel

    Sounds good Simon. I’m always looking for an excuse to get a round in.

    I’m not a member of a club, so don’t have an official handicap. I go around in low 80s most times, so that puts me off about 12 I suppose. If I could sort out my flatstick I could nudge that into single figures probably.

    Marc Leishmann is handy to say the least. Don’t know about those pants though…

  • Simon Hogan

    Late Mail Tips hopefully more on the way later in the week!

    Ballarat
    The next race is due in 14mins. Get on Typo.
    The next race, get on Phizup.
    Race 7 No 8 Easton.
    Race 8 Nos 3 and 8.

    Horsham well it has great golfcourse and it’s coming good after the bushfires. I heard that from the parish priest!

    Race 5 No 5 at 3.35pm.
    Race 6 No4. Where is the remote and number 13.
    Race 7 The lucky last race! My numbers: 7, 10 and 13.

    I got more jokes coming up including my Christmas Joke!

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