Friday, 22 February 2008

Youthful enthusiasm on display for Cross & Icon

An early start for the Cross & Icon saw the community of Bombala welcome the Cross & Icon at sunrise with an ecumenical service, before they were taken to Cooma for an ecumenical liturgy hosted by St Patrick’s Parish. The liturgy was well attended by many school students and other young people from the area.

Next the Cross & Icon made their way into the city of Canberra for a visit to Marist College. Here they received a hero’s welcome as the students formed a guard of honour and had many changes of hands in processing the symbols down to the school oval to the strains of “Our God is an Awesome God.” Fr Chris Ryan, an old scholar of Marist (and the Coordinator of the Journey of the Cross & Icon,) addressed the students about how he had come to grow in his faith while he was at school, and how his faith had grown upon leaving school. The students were also privileged to have an old scholar from last year give a testimony about his experiences of faith. Representatives of each class then venerated the Cross & Icon in a prayerful and reflective way.

When the time came for the Cross & Icon to leave, I was really struck by the way that so many students crowded the school driveway to try to touch the Cross. I saw some students running and assumed they were late to get back to class or were coming to catch up with their school mates who were in the procession. When I asked why they were running, they looked at me and replied “We want to touch the Cross!” after which they disappeared into the sea of blue and grey shirts. It was great to witness such enthusiasm around these awesome symbols.

The Cross & Icon’s day concluded with a visit to MacKillop College, Sacred Heart Church at Calwell and a procession, concert and liturgy in Tuggeranong Town Park. The people of St Anthony’s parish Wanniassa kept the Cross & Icon company with an all night vigil in their church.

Bernadette :)

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