Monday, 4 February 2008

Moree to Walgett and in between!

First stop this morning was the small town of Garah, where we met a small group of locals who gave us a wonderful welcome after patiently braving the wet for their encounter for the Cross & Icon.

A short time later we continued on to Mungindi, another small town in eager anticipation for the arrival of the Cross & Icon. After processing through the main street, we then gathered in the grounds of St Josephs Church. Here members of St Josephs Primary School and other locals gathered in prayer, lunch and then Mass celebrated by Father Chris. Yet again, it was great to see people of all ages come together in this small town to celebrate and give witness to our faith.

Our journey then continued to Walgett via Collarenabri and despite some hairy weather and a dirt road, we made it safe and sound (great work Frank!).

After an “Ash Monday” celebration on the foot of St Vincent De Paul Church at Collarenabri, the Cross & Icon were then taken to Gingie – an Aboriginal Mission in the Walgett area. Here the community excitedly welcomed the cross and icon; the children hugged and kissed the symbols with enthusiasm.

There was then a moving service with Aboriginal elders distributing ashes in another Ash Monday ceremony and a beautiful song sang by a local Aboriginal man. The community then processed into Walgett, with Aboriginal elder Aunty Faye Green leading the procession with the message stick. Large numbers of the community turned out at St Joseph’s primary school for more entertainment, dinner and fireworks – a last spectacular by Fr Holy Smoke! Members of the community expressed happiness that walls were broken down as indigenous and non-indigenous communities united to acknowledge God in their midst during these cross and icon events this evening.

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