Monday, July 23, 2007

World Youth Day Celebrations

Today was a special day for us. In preparation for World Youth Day next year there is a wooden cross 3.8 meters high being brought from parish to parish around Australia. It was given to the youth of the world 25 years ago by Pope John Paul II. It is handed from one group of young people to the next and each parish is marking the arrival of the cross with their own special ceremony.

I took the girls out of school for the day so that we could go together.

Gareth still went to pre-school as I thought it would be hard to have three young kids in a busy environment. One kid per hand seemed a bit more sensible! After dropping Gar at pre-school we had an hour to waste before the ceremony started so I brought them to a local coffee shop and we had a milkshake together. It was a good start! We headed off to Speers Point just in time to get our seats set up in a lovely sunny spot.

The cross arrived by Coastguard boat to Speers Point jetty. There was a large crowd of approximately 1000 school children and each child was given a prayer bracelet as a momento. I had helped to make 100 of the prayer bracelets with a group of my friends during the school holidays. Sian was given one of the ones we had made and Rhiannon got a pink and purple one that she was very pleased with.

It was a wonderful day with lots of great talent provided by the school kids and members of the Aboriginal Awabakal clan who were the original owners of the Speers Point meeting place.

There was singing, dancing, amature dramatics etc. We sat in our picnic chairs and soaked up the atmosphere. It was a gorgeous sunny day which helped.
It was quite a special feeling to be able to participate in the day and the highlight was when we queued up for our turn to touch this wonderful wooden cross.

I hope the girls got something special from it. They seem proud of their prayer bracelets.
They waved goodbye to the convoy carrying the cross as it drove away and are talking excitedly about whether we can go to Sydney next July for the Popes visit.

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