Sunday, 28 October 2007

Many Hands Make Light Work of the Cross

The JCI Team awoke to the unfamiliar sound of rain on Sunday morning in Maryborough. We were soon on the road to St Arnaud, gathering for an Ecumenical walk beginning at the Anglican Church and processing down to the grounds of the Catholic Church. It was great to see different representatives of a range of Christian Churches sharing the weight of the Cross together. A large crowd gathered for the outdoor Liturgy of the Word to conclude the walk and it was again good to focus on what unites us rather than on our areas of difference.

As the Catholics remained together for their celebration on the Sunday Eucharist, and as the rain began again, the Cross and Icon were quickly packed up for their next destination, Wycheproof (pronounced WITCHY-PROOF, WITCHY for short). The JCI Team had been hearing about Wycheproof and Fr Ed, the Parish Priest, for more than a week, so it was with some heightened anticipation that we pulled up in the main street where we were greeted by a large crowd from all around the local region.

The different regional communities took turns joyfully carrying the Cross from the Main Street to the Racecourse. Some 300 or so people celebrated Mass together, being challenged by Fr Chris to understand the concept of a “crossroads” where we are all called to bring faith and life together. Many young people in the area are committing to undertaking the pilgrimage to Sydney next year and it was great to see the way the community was so enthusiastic to support them.

We departed Wycheproof while the music, late lunch and socializing continued. The Cross and Icon’s final destination for the day was Swan Hill. It was totally impressive to find a sizable delegation of senior students (in uniform!) from Mackillop College waiting for the Cross and Icon. These young men and women were accompanied by a number of local parishioners who together walked the Cross from the local Basketball Stadium to the Church. A couple of times along the way the Cross detoured to be carried to elderly and disabled people along the footpath – it’s always a moving thing to see the Cross coming to those who are unable to come to it.

The Swan Hill parish had a fantastic Mass of celebration and concluded the evening with a meal, prayer, live music and a fireworks display. The sound and light of the fireworks were a really fitting reflection of the joy, energy and beauty of the young people and their communities who had gathered and walked with the Cross on this day.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is amazing

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