When we studying in Rome there was an old tradition that at Prima Nix, first snow, we could have a day off college. Of course it hardly ever happened in Rome, and the one time it did when I was there, strangely the staff had all forgotten the tradition and we were off to college as normal. But I like to see the snow at the start of winter, providing it is not making driving impossible or walking treacherous. The college in Rome always reminded me that we are a universal Church, so it was interesting to get an email from one of the younger priests we know in Malawi who is a parish priest and doing some teaching. Obviously he regards me as an older priest (correctly compared to him) as he wanted some information for his seminarians on what it was, is, to be a late vocation. I like the idea, especially with today’s communications, that you can get a request from Malawi, the third poorest country in the world, and have a reply to them in seconds and be sharing my life with seminarians over there. Though I doubt it will be the most riveting story they hear in seminary. I also think it is good to see countries like Malawi as equals. By which I mean, though poorer than us, their lives have all the same structures as ours in the sense they have homes, schools, shops, families with their ups and downs, and all that goes with that. In some senses they are richer than we are, especially when it comes to appreciating what they have and finding happiness in that. So to be able to exchange experiences and learn from each other brings about an understanding that we are all brothers and sisters, equal and united in both our common humanity, our experiences of what it is to be human, and also for Catholics in this case, our membership of the Church.