Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Day Three Hundred and Sixty Six .... also Known as Day One.

Three hundred and sixty six days after the cross first arrived on Australian shores, the two JCI travelling teams have joined together, and been joined by more volunteers, for the 15 day finale of the Australian Journey of the Cross, Icon and Message stick which will culminate in the opening mass of World Youth Day.

We began at Wollongong Cathedral, encouraged in prayer by Bishop Peter, who jointly launched Wollongongs' Days in the Diocese program.

The Saint Mary's and Holy Spirit College students joined us for the first walk of the day and enthusiaticly steered the Cross and Icon in the direction of Sydney.

A year ago, in our briefing, the first team was asked by Steve Laurence, to hear the message of Pope John Paul 2, and be the Saints of the new millenium whilst we journeyed our great south land witnessing an amazing message of hope, love and peace. Unattainable as this seemed, throughout the trials in the journey if was an inspirational goal to aspire to.
Now a year later, both teams are able to rest in the knowledge we gave our all in prayer and in heart, to our part of the last 12 months. Now together, we take all the prayers and blessings we have gathered from the ends of our land to World Youth Day, to the Pope, and to all the young people who will soon gather in Sydney.

Today started small, in anticipation of the crowds that will join us during the next 2 weeks. We had 8 extra crowd marshalls and 8 young police, who in their casual cloathing easily passed as pilgrims
This made for an intimate first day, with the volunteers and police who will soon be working hard to keep everyone else in control, able to spend some quality time carrying the Cross and for a short time, the Icon.
We began the afternoon, purely by co-incidence outside an Aboriginal Centre in Airds, the social workers came outside to see why so many police car's had gathered in their car park and were excited to find we would be setting up the Cross in the park next door.
While it was too late to organise a full scale liturgy, an opportunity was identified to present the Message Stick, the CEO with much pride accepted this, and an opportunity for veneration was provided. Overcome with emotion, one of the workers carried the Cross the few hundred metres to the road, and bid farewell with tears, as she returned to work.
As we continued to walk to ruse, the uniformed police on bikes found themselves riding ahead, and of their own inititive asking the young people playing in the street if they would like to
help us process and carry the Cross.
The St Thomas more parish was then able to spend a beautiful evening in prayer and mass before the Cross, Icon and Message Stick. Overseas pilgrims already in Australia from the pacific islands sang and danced bringing the spirituality of the evening vibrantly to life.
As another day ends, we draw closer to Sydney, please join us somewhere along the way for this final walk in, whether in be on day 5, 8 or 14, gather up your friends, and draw your enemy's closer, from now on in, we will be walking the streets of Sydney with love.

Jacs :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jacs, welcome back!!


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