Sunday, 2 September 2007

Sunday, 2 September

Sunday morning saw the Cross visit the residents of Bethany Nursing Home. The Cross was carried into the courtyard by the local youth of Rockhampton. Sister told us that Bethany means "refreshing" and she hoped that the visit to the home would re-invigorate the journey.

Holding close to the Cross as each person, including many retired Sisters Of Mercy, cam
e to venerate, I was given the privilege of witnessing each heartfelt touch of the wood. I watched eyes of excitement, peace and prayer. The Sisters soft hands took mine and clasped them with gratitude. Some held tightly to the cross and others gave it a light caress with their fingers, each a sign of a life long relationship with Christ.

Did Pope JP2 envisage the Cross would be taken into Nursing homes when he said ‘take this wherever young people are’? On the face of it, a Nursing home is not your standard thought when thinking of how we spend our time, but we must not forget that as images of Christ, young people do often visit people we love and care for in nursing homes. Many of the Sisters in the home today would have brought the love of God to so many young people throughout their lives. It is an honour to have been able to attempt to give back the gift of spending time before this Cross of love.

The Cross then travelled to Emu Park and we joined it again at the Yeppoon Town hall.
Inclement weather meant this event had to be moved from the beach, but the new venue was the perfect size for the gathered crowd. Festivities to celebrate include a rock band and the
combined St Ursula’s and St Brendan’s Jazz band.

Processing to the next event involved a walking pilgrimage to St Brendan’s for the youth mass. One young mum carried the replica of the Icon of Our Lady for the majority of the walk. This young women has known the struggles that Mary would have faced when given the task of carrying Jesus. I was shown determination by her today, to make it to the top of the hill with the Icon of Our Lady still securely in her hands. In this action I saw an a love that never gives up hope, an example of the unconditional love given to us by Mary, and so often replicated in a love given by our own mothers, a love that never gives up hope.

Mass was attended by local families, young people and all of the borders from St Brendan’s and St Ursula’s. The young students were excited to see the Cross at their school and showed great respect and reverence during the mass. To conclude, with gusto the whole congregation joined in to sing the final hymn as loud possible while remaining
in tune. Mass ended with beaming faces and hearts on their way to being set on fire.

Jacs :)


Anonymous said...

Hi JCI team,
Thanks for all your stories. Your journey is inspiring me as we prepare to welcome you all to the Diocese of Ballarat. It was great to see footage at the DYM of what you have all been up to- many a goosebump was felt and there were very few dry eyes in the room. Keep it up and I'll see you all in October, Stacey

World Youth Day Cross & Icon said...

Thanks Stacey,
It is really hard to believe all that the Cross and Icon have done since we last saw you on July 1!! We could never have imagined all the graces that have been occurring, Looking forward to the privledge of bringing the Cross, Icon and Message Stick to Ballarat soon.

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