Thursday, 20 September 2007

Walk by Faith, Together As One

Six kilometers of walking formed the Mareeba pilgrimage from St Anthony’s through the main street, alongside the railway line and out to St Stephens Catholic College at sunset. The great distance ensured that each walking alongside in procession had an opportunity to carry both the Cross and/or the Icon of Our Lady and were able to physically share the load of our faith within their large community. Arriving at the college the group came together with those who had waited in anticipation, perhaps unable to walk the distance, they had no less enthusiasm and night air was filled with a feeling of a real communion of faith between all that had come with differing backgrounds.

Earlier today at our first event, I was told of a story important to the people of Mossman. The story involves a great rock that is believed to be quite significant to the environment the
locals live within and know this rock as the ‘Good Sheppard’. That environment also happens to be on the cusp of the heritage listed, lush and beautiful Daintree Rainforest. We began our pilgrimage to the school in sight of these natural wonders and concluded with all present sharing a slice of a giant cake that is World Youth Day.

Within minutes of our
arrival at our starting location, 5 or 6 people wanted to share the belief’s that are involved with this rock. But a two minute conversation cannot do such history justice. I cannot re-tell the story of the Good Sheppard that watches over Mossman with the same grounding as a local. It does not matter if I can make out the outline of the Good Sheppard or not with my eyes, what matters is those that believe the rock forms this incarnation can.

I cannot know intimately the rocks that form the local foundation for this church community after spending just a couple of hours in liturgy together. What I did see clearly though is that this foundation is solid. It has been built with strength, faith and love and we met many members of this community, both younger, older and in between still continuing to add their own important contribution to the construction of this local church. Three massive cakes were physically made and consumed to celebrate the arrival the Cross, Icon of Our Lady and Message Stick that allows Mossman to share their a connection with the world. We are all here to walk together, so it is important also that we do metaphorically all share in a slice of cake through our contribution to World Youth Day no matter our age, and subsequently our Catholic church.

Jacs :)


Louisa said...

It was an unexpected joy for two Victorians holidaying in Nth Queensland to share in the liturgy of welcome of the Cross & Icon in Mossman. Victoria will not welcome the Cross & Icon until April so be able to venerate and pray before the Cross & Icon now gave us a special opportunity to offer up our intentions for WYD 2008 and this blessed period of preparation. Thank you to the JCI team for all your hard work. I am sure that your faithful witness will have a profound effect on many Australians...young and old alike. May God Bless your journey.

Anonymous said...

Dear Louisa,
I hate to be picky- but Victoria first gets the Cross and Icon on October 20 (not April). You're more than welcome to come and help the Ballarat Diocese celebrate with the Cross and Icon. Not long to go now!!

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