Wednesday, 13 February 2008

National Apology and the Cross

The Cross, Icon and Message Stick were the centre of a liturgy at St Joseph’s College, Perthville this morning. Here the work of Mary of the Cross was remembered by the college students, Sisters and parishioners. During this liturgy, those gathered around the Cross and Icon stopped to listen to the National Apology by the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

It was moving to listen to the words of the apology to our Aboriginal brothers and sisters as we gathered around the Cross. Following the Prime Minister's speech we prayed for all the members of the stolen generations. We also asked for God's guidance as we move forward as a nation seeking reconciliation and justice for the original inhabitants of our country.

I was struck afresh by the way in which the cross speaks into human experiences of suffering and pain while at the same time offering the hope of Christ. It seemed deeply fitting that we could mark this historic moment with prayer around the WYD Cross.

The Cross, Icon and Message Stick were then taken to a combined school gathering at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst. The liturgy included a smoking ceremony and storytelling by the children from each of the schools present.

We then travelled to Orange for a Civic Welcome in Cook Park. The Cross was processed in solemnly by the leaders from the schools and the liturgy included official welcomes, testimonies and bible readings. I was very impressed with the faith of the students present. They came representing their school as was their duty however they expressed such excitement at being able to touch this famous Youth Cross. Afterwards we had a chance to discuss our plans for World Youth Day and some of the students shared their faith journeys with us.

The Cross and Icon then travelled to Mullion Creek for a community celebration and picnic. An overnight prayer vigil was also held at St Joseph’s.

Fr Chris and Annaliese

No comments:

Privacy Statement
Copyright and ™ WYD 2008