Sunday, 17 February 2008

Cross & Icon come to Young!

A jam-packed day for the Cross & Icon began in the delightful little town of Stockinbingal, after which they were taken to the Cootamundra Cemetery for a prayer service. A really moving reconciliation ceremony was held at Bimbadeen, which used to be a home for girls and a significant location in the local history because many girls of the Stolen Generation lived here.

The Cross & Icon were then hosted by the lovely people at the Sacred Heart Church at Cootamundra for a mass, before being taken to Harden-Murrumburrah en-route to St Clement’s Redemptorist Monastery at Galong.

The picturesque Galong is a really significant location in the history of the Canberra-Goulbourn Diocese. It was here that the first bishop of Australia, Bishop Polding, climbed what is now known as Rosary Hill, said the rosary and left his rosary beads on a tree.
It has now become a place of pilgrimage
and a significant location for the many youth who attend the biennial youth event, Light to the Nations. Mass at Galong concluded with colourful balloons being let to the sky by a delighted group of children.

The final stop for the day was in Young, where the group of Young Youth who had been following the Cross & Icon since the Handover in Cowra on Friday evening finally had the experience of bringing the symbols into their own parish. Together with representatives from the nearby town of Grenfell, the Young parish celebrated with a mass, reconciliation and a lively dinner and spent the rest of the evening praying around the Cross & Icon.
In all locations today, the thing that struck me most was how many people want to be with the Cross & Icon, and the way that people prayerfully venerate before these symbols. At the conclusion of the mass in Young, two youth shared from their experiences of travelling with the Cross & Icon for the past two days. It was really evident that the symbols, the people they encountered and the connection to Jesus they felt had a powerful impact on them. It was lovely to hear these local young people speak so passionately about their recent experience of faith.

Bernadette :)

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