On the tenth anniversary of Sydney’s ‘Walk With Christ’ procession, around 6000 Catholics gathered in the CBD to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi.
The procession, which began as a 13th century tradition, had participants carrying banners, singing hymns and praying while they walked from St Patrick’s Church Hill to St Mary’s Cathedral.
The celebration ended with benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the courtyard of St Mary’s Cathedral.
Catherine Kennedy, director of CREDO, the organisation which runs the event, was deeply moved by the celebration,
“The blessed sacrament exposed is such a wonderful gift to us. We can see him, we can taste him, we can touch him. I feel a real deep presence of the Lord, when he’s with us, exposed, in the monstrance.
When our Lord is taken away I feel a big loss…’Come back Lord!’ I want to say.”
She spoke of the public, even showy nature of the procession,
“It’s great to have a public expression of faith. We pray for the needs of our city and we are a witness to it, as we walk through it. This year there was a huge uptake in the number of people who wanted us to pray for them.”
Charbel Germanos, a parishioner at St Charbel’s in Punchbowl was personally touched by the gathering,
“I’m walking with Christ, it’s my first time. I just can’t wait, I’m really excited, all these Catholics joining together for a common goal, especially in this time of need!
The strength, faith and courage that I experience because of everyone standing together in prayer, is something I’ve never experienced before.”
Dani Lambeth, a parishioner at Maternal Heart of Mary in Lewisham, felt that the symbolism of the procession was important,
“It was not only a powerful religious experience to see the faithful from all across the diocese celebrating the significance of the Eucharist in unison, but also an important cultural symbol, to show that Christianity is well and alive in people’s hearts and minds in an ever more secularised society.”
The public presence of a large number of Catholics in Sydney City, was also important to Simon Rassy, a parishioner at St Charbel’s in Punchbowl,
“I saw a few bystanders who were looking, recording and taking pictures. They may have realised the significance of the Eucharist to us Catholics.
It’s important for Catholics to come together and unite. To show that we have a voice, that we’re a community, and that there are many of us. We’re not in hiding! I’d like people to know that we’re praying for them in love!”
For Catherine Kennedy however, this tenth anniversary of the Walk With Christ procession, is, most importantly, a powerful outreach to a world in turmoil,
“Anyone can come before our Lord in the monstrance and allow him to love them. That’s a marvellous gift, and one I think we need to continue to capture for evangelisation.”
“To be able to be a part of this, part of something that’s growing is really remarkable.
There’s a lot of pain in the world at the moment, seeing people gathered together in prayer is a wonderful balm…”
Photo courtesy of Walk With Christ Sydney.
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