Peter Jackson has posted the first trailer of the second instalment of The Hobbit. It’s look pretty good!!

The film will be released in Australia on Boxing Day.

A short time later — probably mid-January — I’m going on a holiday to Hobbiton! A friend is organising a tour of New Zealand which will include visits to the scenes of Middle-Earth, and she has asked if I’d like to join the group as a chaplain.

It’s a holiday of course, not a pilgrimage. I’ll pay my own way. I love being a priest — it gives me energy — so I don’t really see this as work.

Many of the saints, in their asceticism, disdained holidays. I’d never go that far. Recreation is important, and it is good. But I can see the wisdom in St Josemaría’s approach:

“Rest means recuperation: to gain strength, form ideals and make plans. In other words it means a change of occupation, so that you can come back later with a new impetus to your daily job.”

That’s what this will be. A real vacation, but also “a change of occupation.”

Details are still to be arranged, but if you’re interested in a trip in New Zealand in mid-January, let me know. I can keep you in the loop!