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Parishioners walk the talk

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Parishioners at Aberfoyle Park let their feet do the talking for the environment when they participated in a Walk to Mass Day recently.

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Held on March 18, the event involved parishioners walking, riding their bikes or car-pooling to make their way to the Nativity Church for 9am Mass. Some of the walkers gathered at a meeting point earlier so they could walk together as a group.

At the Mass an opening prayer with an environmental theme was selected by Father Charles Lukati and parishioners were given an information sheet about caring for the environment, including a 12-month checklist on things they could do to help renew the Earth.

Following the service the congregation gathered for the planting and blessing of two Jacaranda trees on the church grounds, which will serve as an ongoing reminder of the importance of caring for the environment.

The idea to hold the Walk to Mass Day was first mooted during a retreat held by the parish’s Care Factor youth group in August last year. At the time they had a discussion and brainstorming session to reflect on the eight Gospel characteristics.

When the group met again in November they looked at ways of continuing their renewal efforts and converting their ideas into action.

“The group had previously put the characteristics into youth-friendly terms and the Walk to Mass Day touched on several of these,” explained Allan Smailes who, together with wife Bec, established the Care Factor youth group in 2009.

“The young people were involved in all stages of the event – from seeking permission from Fr Charles and the Pastoral Council, approaching the school for permission to advertise, speaking at Mass and a school assembly, creating a logo and flyers and planning and organising details of the day.”

Bec added that the theme chosen for the day was ‘Cross Roads’.

“It was a play on words, but it showed how the environment is at a cross roads, and that we would ‘cross roads’ on the day as we walked to Mass,” she said.

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