Sunday, 11 November 2007

Mary Mackillop continues to guide the journey

This morning we left Adelaide as the sun was coming up; we drove up through the Adelaide hills and were treated to a spectacular views as we headed for Keith. The bakery in Keith was doing a roaring Sunday morning trade as we entered the town. We parked down the road from the Church and the parishioners gathered to process up to the Church. I was touched by how many times we stopped on the procession which was only about 200 meters. Everyone wanted a turn carrying the Cross and Icon, even tiny little kids were keen to do their part.

Once we arrived at the Church Sunday mass was celebrated in the garden outside the tiny Church with parishioners and visitors alike sitting under any available shade. Some of families gathered had come from as far away as Pinnaroo which is 1.5 hours away. I had a great time talking to families from Pinnaroo. It was heartening to hear that one girl’s Nan had made her come along to see the Cross and Icon but she was glad she’d been made, because she’d learnt heaps about the Cross and WYD that she hadn’t known previously. Good times.

After lunch we were on the road to Penola; the birthplace of the Josephite Sisters, the order that Blessed Mary Mackillop co founded with Fr Tennyson Woods. I’d been looking forward to visiting Penola since day one of the Australian journey when we laid the Cross on the tomb of Mary Mackillop in North Sydney.

We processed from Mary Mackillop Park (which is where the original school house was) through the town of Penola to current Catholic primary school oval where the liturgy was held. It was pretty cool processing the Cross, passionately expressing our faith in Jesus and knowing that Mary Mackillop lived there in that very town, carrying her own crosses with joy and passionately expressing her faith in Jesus. Meeting young people in Penola and seeing faith still very much alive there is a great testament to both Blessed Mary Mackillop and Fr Woods.

We then drove onto Mount Gambier and stumbled upon the Blue Lake which is actually the crater of an extinct volcano. The water is a striking sapphire colour and the whole area reminded me of Canada, not Australia. As we drove through town we saw groups of locals dotted along the route of the procession which started near the Blue Lake. They processed eagerly, covering a long procession in good time.

What a day! South Australia has really surprised me with its diversity and history.
God Bless, Jess

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