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Quote: Gal 2: 19-21
Issue 5, August 2008, Highlights:
The Journey of the Cross and the Icon throughout the Kimberley was a moment in time of special significance. Special because it offered us the opportunity to shape and celebrate our belief in God’s love for us. The Cross is primarily that – a sign of God’s love for us who live in a world that often appears to be devoid of love and lacking hope.
Each town and community in the Kimberley offered its own individual response to the visit of the devotional symbols. Indeed each faith community will have its favourite remembrance of the wonderful journey. I note just some below. I recall the enthusiastic welcome at La Grange/Bidyadanga and the walk through the township holding the Cross on high. In the Church at Mass we solemnly welcomed the Cross to the first parish visited in the Diocese.
In Beagle Bay there was a happy gathering of adults and children at the town’s entrance and then a march through the village culminating in a rosary at the Cemetery. Mass followed and we shared a devout veneration of the Cross in this the Cradle of Christianity in the Kimberley.
At Lombadina/Djarindjin I helped carry the Cross up the sandhill. I had forgotten how beautiful that area is with splendid views of Thomas Bay and the ghostly gums scattered around the park below. A long-neglected and now restored grotto dedicated to Our Lady was duly opened for the occasion and we blessed the statue in the cavity cut into the old gnarly white gum.
In Broome, the Cross walk attracted the astonished looks of by-standers in Chinatown. The walkers enjoyed the security of a police-escort while drivers pulled over and patiently waited for the Cross to pass on its way to the prison and then the Cathedral. The Cross was suitably revered at Notre Dame with Morning Prayer and then at St Mary’s College, the Catholic Education Office and the Cemetery before being presented at a Mass for the Sick that evening. A dawn service on the Saturday for those who died at sea brought joy to the crowd who gathered on that blustering morning.
Derby’s moment included the dinner-camp reception and again at the jetty, a visit to the hospital with the Icon followed by the solemn veneration at Mass at the school. The Sunday morning Mass in the Church was a superb testimony to the Glory of God as the choir under the leadership of Sr Camille led the congregation in prayerful song.
In Halls Creek, with the assistance of many willing hands, an engaging paraliturgy gave respect to the Cross and evoked a prayer-filled response from the eager congregation. In Balgo everybody met the Cross and Icon when they arrived. Then the Cross went into ‘Sorry Camp’ for those mourning lost ones. It was received reverently by all who greeted and held it. The huge numbers saw in it the promise of grace and healing.
Mulan joyously raised the Cross and Icon on the hill overlooking the village and a baptism was celebrated in the shadow of the holy signs.
In Wyndham the imaginative celebration outside the school was well attended and the walk through the town to Warrior Park was a shared moment of obvious joy. At the park there was a blessing and a song before the Cross and Icon travelled to Kununurra. Here at dusk a procession began at St Joseph’s School and concluded at the Parish Church. A service of readings and prayers then accompanied the veneration of the Cross. As elsewhere, people were touched by the presence of the Cross and Icon – visibly, notably, spiritually.
I wish to thank people for their hard work and dedicated preparation in anticipation of the Cross and Icon arriving in each parish. The Cross was venerated at each stop and on every occasion it was treated with respect and reverence.
I pray that the grace gathered from these moments might lift us up individually and as a community of the faithful so that we may better celebrate and enjoy the wonder of God’s love for us.