By: Jackson Saunders
Fifth-year Melbourne seminarians, Samuel Pearson and Kyaw Lin (Joseph) Aung, have been awarded the opportunity of a lifetime after having won a Holy Land Scholarship.
The duo were presented with the Cardinal Foley and Walter P. Martin Holy Land travel scholarship at the Knights of the Southern Cross Priests Support and Education Fund luncheon at Corpus Christi College on Sunday May 19.
Kyaw Lin, who came to Australia to study for the priesthood from his native homeland of Myanmar, said that he was excited about the opportunity to go on pilgrimage in the Holy Land from mid-November up until Christmas this year.
“I am 30 years old. Jesus started his mission at 30,” Kyaw Lin said.
“Now Jesus has called me at my age of 30 to follow him and to see where he did his mission.
“This is a really great opportunity for me because this trip will help me to improve my relationship with Jesus and give me the opportunity to see the place where Jesus was born and lived.”
Kyaw Lin said the pilgrimage would help him to understand more about how the Word of God became flesh through Jesus.
“I will be at the places I have heard in the Gospels,” he said.
Rector of Corpus Christi College, Fr Denis Stanley, said that the Holy Land was not simply another interesting historical place to visit.
“There is plenty of history in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, but it is a place of sacred history; a place that must and will make a lasting impression on those who travel there,” Fr Stanley said during the presentation on Sunday.
“How could walking in the footsteps of the Lord not find an echo in open hearts?
“How could meeting and listening to those who live and work there leave anyone unmoved?
“How could spending time in modern Israel not awaken us to the struggle for peace and justice.”
Samuel Pearson, 27, who grew up in Glenroy, said that he was also grateful for the opportunity to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and he thanked all who had made it possible.
"I just feel so blessed right now," he said.
"I'm so grateful to the Knights of the Southern Cross, to Barbara and John Ralph and to the staff of our Seminary for what is going to be the experience of a lifetime!"
"It's still surreal, that this boy from the suburbs is now going to be walking in the footsteps of Jesus."
The Holy Land Scholarships were presented to Samuel and Kyaw Lin by Barbara and John Ralph AC, along with Carmine Miranda, who is the State Chairman of the Knights of the Southern Cross Victoria.
Each year the Knights of the Southern Cross host the annual KSC Archbishop’s Dinner to raise money for the KSC Priests Support and Education Fund, which seeks to assist with the formation of the future leadership of the Church.
This year’s KSC Archbishop’s Dinner will take place at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Friday, August 16, from 7.00pm. This year’s guest speaker is philanthropist Susan Alberti AC and the master of ceremonies is former race-caller Bryan Martin.
For more details about the KSC, visit www.ksca.org.au