Monday, 25 February 2008

Cross & Icon go back to school in Canberra

Today four schools in Canberra got to experience the Cross & Icon, beginning the day at St Clare’s College, where they were the focal point of staff prayer, and then the centre of a liturgy on the school oval. Jessica Pollard, an old scholar and a member of the Journey of the Cross and Icon Travelling Team 1, shared with the students about her experiences of faith and her time with the Cross & Icon last year.
She encouraged the students to embrace the Cross as their own, assuring them that the WYD Cross is for young people, for all people and definitely not just for “holy people.”

The Cross & Icon were then taken to St Edmund’s College, where the students warmly greeted “Mr Hansby,” a Design & Technology teacher at the school but more famously known for his role as the Dedicated Driver for JCI Team 2 (known to everyone on the road as Frank.)
Mass at St Edmund’s included a commissioning of the Youth Ministry Team, a group of year 11 students who will minister to other students in the school in the year ahead. It was wonderful to see this group of young men leading the way with the Cross as it was surfed through the hands of the entire school, and to hear a testimony from one of the youth ministers.

The students of Daramalan College were the next recipients of the Cross & Icon. The students joyously greeted the symbols by passing the Cross over their heads as they entered, and then prayed reflectively before them in a beautiful liturgy focussed on having love for others. Later in the day it was Merici College’s turn to host the Cross & Icon, with a mass in the school gym and a chance for some cross surfing and veneration in the schoolyard afterwards.

In each of these schools I was in awe of the leadership shown by the young men and women chosen to lead their school in the liturgy, and how each school embraced the Cross & Icon into their own way that reflected the charism and traditions of the school.

The Cross, Icon & Message Stick’s day concluded with an ecumenical liturgy held in a beautiful park location in the nearby town of Queanbeyan, where they were embraced by many friendly faces in a great display of community spirit, and then processed to the church for a mass and veneration.

It was great to see the young people of Queanbeyan really leading their community in these celebrations – a sign of great things to come in the future!

Bernadette :)

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