Saturday, 22 September 2007

Great Barrier Reef and Fogarty Soundshell

Today the Royal Australian Navy and the young people of Cairns took the Cross, Icon of Our Lady and Message Stick to the Great Barrier Reef, off Fitzroy Island. The Cross was dipped in 1ft of water following a liturgy that called us to take greater care of our beautiful natural environment. We had an amazing day spending time with many of you today in what is affectionately known as Australia's magnificent backyard.

HMAS Broome played host today, as the crew from this patrol boat, along with those from HMAS Woolongong, explained the critical work they undertake protecting these endangered waters from illegal poachers and fishermen. Those on board, both civilians and those in uniform were able to spend a precious day away from the usual hustle and bustle involved with leading a young life. The Cross and Icon of Our Lady were theirs for the entire day, to be sung and prayed before, touched, kissed, held on to and just watched.

A very privledged Kim, as a traditional owner grew quietly proud and held a radiant smile as she learnt why she could be the only one to hold the Message Stick on today's voyage. Kim's joy would continue later at Fogarty soundshell when she formally accepted the Message Stick from her father Ken, also a traditional owner. Ken was very happy to take up and extend the invitiation both to Sydney world youth day, and of participation fully within the church as an indigenous person.

As the wood was held in the water, connecting the youth cross that has been all around the world with the coral sea, we sung behold the wood of the cross. On this journey, i have not seen this Cross hung on to, in such a precarious position, but with such strong determination not to let it fall as at that moment on the deck of HMAS Broome. As the words to the song continued, on which is hung our salvation, our cross was hung on us, the youth of cairns, the Royal Australian Navy, the youth of Australia and the media of the world. Once more, i realise the great responsibilty involved in sharing Christs love rests on me as an individual and us as humanity.

Later this evening, we pilgrimaged by red candlelight from the great Cairns Cathedral, along the esplanade to a worship event, in the middle of the local backpacker party district, Fogarty Soundshell. Beautiful singing filled the boardwalk as we made our way to the centre of Cairns, past tourists who stopped to ask if i could explain what was happening in Japenese, and past a young busking english couple, they had seen the band rehearsing earlier in the day and were glad to be told they too would be welcome to come along.

Everyone involved with the Cairns World Youth Day band had spent the day in the presense of the Cross on the water, and this showed through their prayerful presentation of music and song. The night became such of worshiping together rather than a performance. The Cross, Icon of Our Lady and Message Stick were present just left of the stage, amounst the crowd. This allowed for further intimate moments of connecting with our faith. No one venerating was in the spotlight, so no pressure was felt to act in any specific way. Each person was able to bring exactly what they wanted before the Cross, to ask what they needed from Mary and not be concerned that anyone was watching them do this.

Thankyou to all the young people of the cairns diocese that today were christ to our team, for making us feel welcome, for saying hello and sharing your precious environment with us. It has been a privledge to glimpse a window of your lives through friendship before the Cross.

Jacs :)

1 comment:

Ivan said...

Wasn't it a blessed day? the Holy Spirit was truly with us for the whole journey! thanks for sharing it with us.

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