Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Darwin's Welcome Procession

This morning the Cross and Icon were officially welcomed to the Darwin Diocese. Our whole team arrived in Darwin last night; three of us flew and four of us drove from Cairns to Darwin (2909 km from Bishop James’ house to Bishop Eugene’s house in 3 days.) As the Icon has journeyed around the Torres Strait Islands in recent days, the welcome to Darwin doubled as a reunion for the Cross, Icon and our team.

The Chief Minister Clare Martin and the newly installed Bishop Eugene joined with a group of joyous Territorians to welcome the Cross and Icon to the Northern Territory and to Darwin. Once the official welcome was complete the procession began. We were led by half a dozen guitarists who played with gusto, passion and spirit. First stop was the Anglican Cathedral where the Kamilda choir sang beautifully. The procession then marched straight through the middle of Smith Street Mall (the main shopping area in Darwin). We attracted the attention of many shoppers and workers on their lunch break. I was asked by two tourists whether we were a cult – I explained the concept of WYD to them and reassured them that the Church isn’t a cult!

We then visited the Uniting Church where the Kamilda choir treated us again. The students who joined in with the procession were genuinely pleased to be involved. I was impressed by the students and ministers from other Christian faiths who were more than happy to join in. The guitarists continued playing energetically as we processed on through the midday humidity. The Neocatechumenal Way were well represented and the energy of their members inspired me as I struggled with the muggy Darwin day. Next stop was St Mary’s Primary School, before we finished at the Cathedral. The Cross and Icon were left to recline in the afternoon sun outside the Cathedral, so passersby could encounter with them.

This evening the Second Rite of Reconciliation was celebrated in the Cathedral. Many students who took part in today’s procession came back for tonight which I thought showed a lot of commitment to the Cross and Icon. The sacrament of reconciliation and the symbolism of the empty Cross and all that it means to us spoke loudly to me this evening.

Great start Darwin! Jess

No comments:

Privacy Statement
Copyright and ™ WYD 2008