Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Fired Up Hearts; Energetic Sea of Blue Crosses the Esplanade

Over the past four months, I have had the opportunity to witness the excitement of an ever endless amount of young people carrying the Cross and Icon with their own friends. Our youth group is not overly evangelical and not at all charismatic, so I wondered just what the reaction of my friends would be at the opportunity to carry this Cross. No prayers were said and no praise and worship songs sung. We carried the Cross excitedly and with the knowledge we had the strength to do it with care. Our section was down the stairs to the beach, and along the sand by the shore of the sea for about 300 metres. To finally be a part of carrying the Cross with the group that so much formed my spiritual growth, and to know that our group has now played its role in carrying the Cross of hope for Pope John Paul 2 was a very special moment for me today.

The procession began with a simple welcoming ceremony at Marymount College, a girls middle school in the South-West region of Adelaide. As the group headed towards the beach, they were joined by the younger parish schools who lined the side of the road with drums, shakers and tambourines before following in behind the Cross. We witnessed the teachers sharing the same enthusiasm as their pupils, and encouraging them to make more noise, to cheer louder and to celebrate the moment with joy.

As the Cross reached the Esplanade, Brighton Antioch were finally able to take the symbol of life into possession. Students from Sacred Heart College Middle School then waited on the sand for their turn, and as it was passed into their hands, with full respect showed they were capable of weight lifting the two massive pieces of wood. The excitement and cheering continued, as the pilgrimage had now increased to the two middle schools and parish schools.

Back up on the road, as we neared the Senior School, Year 10 students from Sacred Heart passed the Cross within their house groups. As the Year 11’s finished their last mass for the year, they exited the church to join the final leg of the procession to their football oval. We joined in a liturgy, and I was privileged to share at my old school the journey of the last four months. The irony that I would not speak in public when I attended the school was not lost on me at all. I was able to speak about the importance of taking the Cross to areas in need of social justice and awareness. Knowing the school formed so much of this awareness in me, and is doing in those students taking part in the day, I was happy to share how my actions taken with the Cross are shaping me now.

The Sacred Heart students who will be attending World Youth Day next year, then took the Cross to Glenelg, where many young people spend time on weekends and throughout summer. They walked from Moseley Square, along the foreshore to Colley Reserve where much summer sport is contested for a historical liturgy, that also involved two more parish schools and local parishioners.

Glenelg, was where South Australia was first settled, and it was remembered on the 28th of December 1836, that the state was proclaimed by the ‘Old Gum Tree’. Bishop Greg O’Kelly and Mayor Ken Rolland welcomed the Cross and all present once more to the area, and local teaching student Imelda spoke on how she had learnt about the Indulgences that go with this Cross in Cologne at World Youth Day 2005. Imelda put much effort into the planning of this event, and is a good example of the local involvement that has created the events throughout the Adelaide Archdiocese.

I feel blessed today, that I was able to participate in the events at the level I see so many others do every day. Today, like everyone else, with all our differences we became apart of a movement that is showing the world, we as young people can carry this Cross of hope, because we believe in love.

Jacs :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck with Schoolies Week, team. We're praying for you!

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