Sunday, 16 September 2007

More sugar cane and very sweet people

This morning we began early with a 7am Eucharist at St Anthony’s Deeragun. Many people gathered in the undercover area of St Anthony’s Primary for the mass which was well attended despite the early start.

We then moved onto to Balgal Beach RSL memorial park for a remembrance ceremony. A group of soldiers from the Australian Defence Force were present. Throughout the service the soldiers bordered the memorial which the Cross and Icon had been stood close to. The soldiers all looked quite young, as though they would easily fit into the WYD age group. The reality of young people fighting to defend our country really hit me as the soldiers stood to attention throughout the service and we prayed for their comrades in war zones around the world.

We then drove through Ingham onto St Teresa’s at Abergowrie. We were met at the gate by a group of Indigenous students. They were wearing traditional dress, were painted in oakers and were very excited to be carrying the Cross and Icon into their school. St Teresa’s is in a truly picturesque setting; Sugar Cane borders the campus and sheer mountains rise out of the otherwise flat landscape. As the Cross and Icon were welcomed by the whole school community I felt very privileged to be present. The Indigenous students who met us danced and then a group of students from PNG also presented some of their traditional dances. After the students had a chance to venerate they sang the school song, with pride. It was a touching song about always having hope and knowing that Jesus is always with you. Most of the students were from remote places, with a good number from the Torres Strait Islands. We told them that the Icon will be visiting the Islands next week and they were excited to know that they may be able to see it again as school holidays begin soon.

We then headed back into Ingham for an afternoon and an evening of celebrations. We were expecting a small crowd as the North Queensland Cowboys were playing in the semi-final. However, when we arrived there was a large crowd waiting to meet us. The crowd processed the Cross and Icon through the main streets of Ingham to the Rotary Park in the centre of town. When we arrived there was a youth forum to discuss all things World Youth Day. The evening was drawn to a close with an outdoor mass. There were many parishioners present; sitting on deck chairs and picnic blankets. We were treated to as beautiful sun set through the trees as the liturgy of the word was being read. Thanks for an enjoyable afternoon and evening. God Bless, Jess

1 comment:

liz said...

What a wonderful day today, the day the Cross and Icon came to Abergowrie.
For a report and some photos go to www.abergowrie.qld.edu.au and to the News and Events page.
The photos can be downloaded from there for your use.
I think the story tells it all
Best wishes

 
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