Journey with Mary
May pilgrimage to the Shrine in Mulgoa, Australia, on Ascension Day
AUSTRALIA. Sunday morning 23 May -a beautiful sunrise over the little Shrine promising one of the best of Autumn days. The Liquid Ambers and the dark red coloured leaves of the Claret in front of the shrine were ready to receive the hundreds of pilgrims who would visit the Blessed Mother in the Shrine which was wrapped in its sombre green, red and brown vine creepers.
Soon the place became alive with a loyal band of helpers to prepare the place for the function.
At 9-30 –10 am Buses and cars creped up Fairlight Rd greeted by a huge welcome sign in various languages. 70 Pilgrims from Melbourne had arrived the previous night. 10.am the program commenced with a ‘sing in' supported by the Spanish Schoenstatt band and choir using their traditional instruments.
When the Eucharistic celebration commenced approx. 15 000 – people had gathered around the little Shrine giving praise to God with the Hymn "Let Heaven rejoice and earth be glad.." at this sun-filled morning of the Lord's Ascension Day.
Chris Wilson with his Choir and Band enhanced the liturgy and truly ‘shouts of trumpets' filled the air in this sacred moment at this sacred place.
In his Homily Fr. Denis pointed to the Pilgrimage Motto "A Journey with Mary" and exemplified this on the life of John Pozzobon who started the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate (Campanha da Mãe Peregrina/ Campaña del Rosario/ Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, SRC) in Brazil in 195O. His life was a journey of love with Mary which now has spread to many (over 90) countries. We celebrate his 100 Birthday this year. At the end of Mass coordinators assembled around the altar where their Pilgrim Mother had been placed before Mass. They renewed their commitment to the Apostolate for another year. Full of joy they took their PM for another year on their apostolic journey.
Soon the place had turned into a picnic place filled with groups of people enjoying their lunch, meeting people who had come from all corners of Sydney and surrounding areas, Canberra, Yass, and Melbourne to honour Our Lady. In fact many people gathered in their ethnic groups. One could hear many languages spoken but all were happy to meet around our Mother's Shrine.
Rosary Walk to the Shrine
At 2 pm, the bell from the Shrine tower invited to the procession with Mary. Pilgrims assembled in the valley. Bishop Julian Porteous, of Sydney Diocese who had just arrived joined the approx. 800 people who were singing and praying while walking with the large Pilgrim Mother picture (Auxiliary Pilgrim Mother) that was a replica of the one Joe Pozzebon walked the roads of Brazil with to visit the poor and the rich, families, schools, hospitals.
The sick and those who found it hard to walk gathered in front of the Shrine. Fr. D. Foley and Sr. Myrna conducted a service including Scripture readings, Hymns, the Rosary and the blessing of the sick..
On the arrival of the Pilgrims from the valley all joined together again ready for Bishop Julian Porteous to address the pilgrims saying that after the Ascension of Jesus Mary stayed with the Apostles in the Cenacle praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit; that Mary was always close to the Apostles as they knew that she would help them in their Apostolate to spread the message of her son. Mary, the first disciple of Jesus would also lead us to Christ, our Saviour whom we adore in the Blessed Sacrament.
Benediction was given and the people joined into the recessional hymn lead by the enthusiastic Spanish Schoenstatt Choir.
"Yes, Mother, send us out from here…"
Many people made sure that their had a souvenir, a flower or some greenery from the decoration of the Altar to bring home to their families.
More about the Schoenstatt Movement in Australia: bookmark the beautiful site Schoenstatt in Australia: www.schoenstatt.au.org
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