Friday, 15 February 2008

A spectacular finale from the Bathurst Diocese

Cowra came to life today with a full program of events with the Cross & Icon.
After spending the morning at St Josephs School in Blaney, the Cross & Icon travelled to Cowra for the final day in the Bathurst Diocese.
The events started at the towns World Peace Bell (the only one in the Southern Hemisphere), which is struck as a symbol of peace – especially in remembrance of the Japanese and Australian lives lost in the Cowra POW breakout back in 1944.

The large crowd then processed down to the main street to St Raphael’s Church for a liturgy with students from St Raphael’s,
St Edwards and St Josephs primary schools.

The Cross and Icon were then taken to the old POW site, where we prayed especially for the 300 people who had lost, or taken their life as a result of the attempted breakout.

Later that afternoon the people of Cowra came together and almost filled the Church for a beautiful Mass, followed by a procession down to the local park.
Here the young people of Cowra dramatised the Stations of the Cross in the stunning park setting.

The feeling of community in Cowra was electric, I was particularly encouraged by the young people and their involvement & enthusiasm throughout the day.

After dinner it was time for the handover between Bathurst and Canberra-Goulburn diocese and this took place on the picturesque low bridge over the Lachlan River.
As the sun was setting, the Canberra-Goulbourn team of young people lead by Archbishop Mark Coleridge waited half way along the bridge as Bishop Patrick Doherty and his Bathurst team walked the Cross & Icon to meet them, and sadly handed them over.
Handovers seem to always be a time of great joy and of great sadness, as one team gratefully receives these powerful symbols and one has to let go of them!

The JCI team would like to send out a big thank you to the Bathurst Youth Team who were so committed in journeying with the Cross & Icon throughout their diocese. Your presence will be missed!!
Dan : )

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