Sunday, August 21, 2011

Calm After the Storm

If you compare this photo with the one in my previous post, you'd hardly think they were taken just twelve hours apart! This picture looks like it was taken on a nice beach somewhere!

Actually, it's a photo of me with Bishop Cornelius Sim of the diocese of Brunei (technically, he is the Vicar Apostolic of Brunei, which is not yet formally constituted as a diocese).

This cheerful and kind man proved something of a saviour to us at WYD, and to me in particular. He has family in Vancouver, and took a personal interest when he heard us being turned away from our section for the third time. With a slightly mischievous grin, he invited us to hop the fence and try to find some space with his group.

There truly was none, but somehow we pulled off a loaves and fishes miracle and managed to squeeze in with the Brunei youth--and with the bishop himself, because he had chosen not to be on the stage with the Pope for the vigil, nor to stay with the bishops in their hotel! He had bunked down with the rest of us! It was a great thing to see, and his good humour kept us going.

It also kept me going, to be a little bit blunt! The toilets were virtually inaccessible from our camp because zealous volunteers were blocking roads. They simply wouldn't let us pass, and I needed a bathroom in the worst way.

The bishop grabbed my arm and said, "we'll go together." The same volunteer barred our way until another caught sight of Bishop Sim's official ID badge and said "O! Obispo!" at which point the lad moved aside quickly. The bishop gave him a big smile and a hug, and after that we moved freely past the checkpoint!

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