One of the questions that has been suggested for us to ask in this Year of Grace is €œWhere is Jesus?€ in various situations and people.

Years ago a gifted Perth priest by the name of Fr Jim O€™Brien remarked in his latter life, €œWhen I go to visit people now, I go not so much to bring Jesus to them, as to see where Jesus is at work already there in them.€

At this time I am on my seven week Visitation / Confirmation Round of the Pilbara and Carnarvon Parishes. I must say I am thinking more like this myself.

In this time of Visitation I have much work to do, with items to check as well as making myself available for appointments / various events. More importantly though, I am enjoying seeing Christ at work in the priests, people and various situations.

What do I see so far? I offer a few examples.

In Karratha people keep joining our Church. A group of six people came into the Church at Easter, and recently I Confirmed another convert '€“ a young teacher in our St Paul'€™s School. I have already heard that a group of about a dozen In Port Hedland are undergoing the R.C.I.A.  People feel at home and welcome in our Church. It can only be the Grace of Jesus drawing them in various ways.

'€œBishop I want to congratulate you on the wonderful spirit of courtesy and respect staff and students show each other at my grandchildren'€™s school'€ said one Grandmother I met up here. I suggested she congratulate the Principal and Staff of that school. I also added that it is something we aim at fostering in all our Catholic schools, and how it is a practical expression of our Faith in Jesus and his presence in each person.

As in our parishes in the southern part of the Diocese, I keep meeting people up here of all ages and families who value their Faith in God and in Jesus.  Yes, in our north, where people work long hours and wealth and materialism is to the fore, people still find time for God and his Son Jesus. I could as easily say that Jesus is '€œfinding people'€ or is still getting through to them up here.

Our priests here, as in other parts of our Diocese, are generously Ministering to people and are happy. It can only be due to Jesus who joined them to him and to each other by sharing with them his one Priesthood. There is no other earthly explanation for them doing what they are doing and for the faith filled way in which they are doing it.

I am beginning to meet also the few but valuable Religious Sisters in the north working among Aboriginal people and in pastoral Ministry in our Parishes. They witness to Christ in their lives. It is Christ also who inspires, empowers and holds them in their Ministry.

Over the twenty years I have been visiting the northern parishes I have grown to know well some of the people who continue living here. This visit I had the privilege of Confirming a beautiful young girl whose mother I had also Confirmed years ago. It was so pleasing to see how this mother had settled after a somewhat torrid period of her life '€“ testament to the constant love and prayers of her own mother and, I believe, the Grace of Jesus Christ.

I heard of what some men said about one of our priests who used to visit them in prison. They said '€œThank you for coming to see and talk with us. You help us see we are not junk.'€ What that priest did was in fact show them the face and person of Jesus Christ living within him.

As I write I am only in the first stages of my northern trip. These examples highlight how Jesus is at work daily in and around the lives of each of us. When we look with the eyes of Faith we notice it.

It all leads to praise. '€œGod you are wonderful.  Jesus, God among us, you are wonderful. All praise to you. Thank you for being among us and working in our midst.'€