Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Deniliquin Utes Muster Procession Through Hay

Primary students gathered in Hay today from Barrum, Balranald, Deniliquin, Googowie and Hillston to welcome the Cross and Icon of Our Lady, and to process with the Cross from Brewery Park to the local oval for a liturgy and veneration. Some of the schools are located at least two hours drive from Hay, making the effort involved in travelling an extra special reason to make the most out of the visit for the young children.

For a lot of the children present, their schools are no bigger than 100 students and the day formed an opportunity to share this occasion with their rural neighbours, along with being able to meet other people their age who are growing up on farms or small country towns just like them.

Four students from Deniliquin, then held flags out the windows of utes, as the ‘Ute Muster’ Ute led a pilgrimage through the main street of Hay. The Wilcania-Forbes JCI team followed closely behind carrying the Cross proudly as we sung. Shear Outback, was to be the next destination, with the police van joining in to help get the team to the venue. The friendly helpfulness of the policemen really showed to us the true country care that has been very evident throughout this diocese.

Tourists to Shear-Outback on a bus tour, stopped to take photos of the Cross. One man told me he did not need to know what it was specifically for, but knew it must be something for the greater good. Here we prayed in a small circle for rain, for the plight of the farmers who give so much to the land, and we prayed for the many people that had unknowingly encountered the graces of the Cross today.

A Fijian women who had encountered the Cross in Fiji, sung spontaneously for those gathered at Hay’s evening event and shared passionately the effect this encounter had for her and her country. The primary school students, who had already had such a big day entertained us energetically and led prayerful songs in two sets, at a time when most of their friends would be getting ready for bed. More country hospitality was provided through the barbeque meal shared with all present in the park, and the genuine conversations held with the local’s from Hay. Once again, an intimate opportunity was provided to interact with the Cross and Icon of Our Lady, meaning families, friends and individuals could bring prayers as they came to mind.

Jacs : )

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