"To the Ends of the Earth"

Posted by Matthew Leonard on 05.09.12 |

New Zealand Postcard
Now that the jet-lag is a fading memory and I’m no longer a nocturnal creature haunting the halls of my house, I thought I’d briefly share with you about my recent trip to New Zealand. First of all, I don’t know how anyone can live in a place of such natural beauty and not know there is a God. Everywhere you look could serve as a postcard. Even the gas stations are picturesque!

I traveled to the Southern Hemisphere (almost 30 hours!) at the request of the Institute for World Evangelization (ICPE), where I taught theology for their “Catholic Week”. The ICPE, which includes locations in Malta, Poland, Italy, Singapore,
Indonesia, and Korea, is a pontifically recognized evangelization school that serves to train missionaries for the New Evangelization. They’re a wonderful group of people and are on fire with the love of the Spirit.

In addition to speaking at the school during the day, I was also invited by Archbishop John Dew (who came to part of the training) to present Genesis to Jesus for the Archdiocese of Wellington. It was a smashing success.
We had about 120 people from more than 10 different countries represented (including some Missionaries of Charity, which is always great to see). Looking out at the participants I couldn’t help but feel like we were witnessing the gospel to “the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). And the great part is that they’ll be taking Journey Through Scripture back to their home countries and continuing to spread the story of our salvation.

I have to admit that it was hard to leave the incredible natural beauty “down under”. Before I left to catch my interminable flight home, I stood in the parking lot of St. Gerard’s monastery on a hill overlooking a gorgeous bay, thanking God for the beauty of his creation and the people I met. Instead of sadness, though, it filled me with hope, knowing that all of this is but a foretaste of what is to come. Thanks for your prayers and may God bless all of you as we work together for His kingdom.


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