Held at the Adelaide Showgrounds for the first time, the event was easily moved into the Jubilee Pavilion after bad weather was forecast.
In what was a shining example of South Australia’s vibrant Catholic community, parishes and multicultural groups participated in the colourful procession with many wearing the traditional dress of their home country.
The statue of Mary was carried by students from Christian Brothers College, with Mercedes College and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College also represented.
Archdiocesan event coordinator Alexa Vozzo thanked everyone who attended and made it such a memorable day, especially the volunteers who gave so much of their time.
“We had to do things a bit differently this year – we had a COVID safety plan and management plan, people had to book their tickets prior to the event, there was a QR check-in and social distancing on the day, but everyone accepted this and was grateful for being able to gather together to honour Mary,” she said.
In his homily, Archbishop Patrick O’Regan spoke of Catholics’ enduring love for the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“We have this love for her because our Lord Jesus loved her so much,” he said.
“He loved her so much that he gave his own mother to us at the foot of the cross. Indeed, as Mary remarks in the Gospels to the Archangel Gabriel, ‘all generations will call me blessed’ (Luke 1:48).
“Mary has served as the ultimate role model for all Christians in her willingness to cooperate with God’s will. So while we rightfully acknowledge her as the Mother of God, the Theotokos, we also acknowledge her sanctity and her willingness to do God’s will.”
Archbishop O’Regan asked those present to pray for peace and an end to wars and conflicts around the world, as well as the end of the pandemic.
“Throughout the current COVID pandemic many people have felt anxious, and little things that ordinarily would not worry or concern us, have done exactly that,” he said.
“So then it is wonderful that we come together here today for this annual Marian procession and prayer for peace. On this day we draw nearer to Mary the Mother of Jesus and the Church.
“Pope Francis has asked that, especially during May, we pray the rosary together to seek the end of the pandemic. Our wonderful efforts today have assisted in this.
“The restored icon of Mary Salus Populi Romani, Salvation of the Roman People, which forms the cover of our booklet today is a reminder of what happens in a gathering such as this.
“We are given the reassurance that God has not abandoned us; that we have Mary Mother of the Church and Help of Christians to accompany us on our journey and desire for peace.”Jump to next article