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Mary's maternal love shines through


The 70th anniversary of the Marian Procession didn’t quite go to plan but organisers were pleased that approximately 800 people packed into St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral after inclement weather forced a change of venue.

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The procession in the South Parklands was cancelled in the week prior after rain and thunderstorms were forecast but parishes and communities were encouraged to come to the Cathedral to honour Mary.

Students from Christian Brothers College carried the statue of Mary (from St Patrick’s Church, Grote St) into the Cathedral. St Aloysius, Mercedes and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart colleges were also represented at the longest continuously-run religious event in the State.

Administrator Delegate Father Philip Marshall celebrated the liturgy while Deacon Tim Grauel delivered the reflection and spoke of Mary as the mother of Jesus giving new life in Christ that never ends.

“When Pope Francis introduced the new feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, this time last year, he said it was to encourage clergy, Religious and all the faithful to nurture a more profound awareness of the maternal sense of the Church,” said Deacon Grauel (pictured bottom right).

“So we now have a feast on the Monday after Pentecost to draw attention to the feminine nature of the Church (Monday June 10). The Church, like Mary, called to ever more fully witness to being mother and bride.”

He questioned what the Church would be like if it didn’t venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary and quoted Pope Francis who said a masculine Church would be more akin to a football team.

“Thankfully, we are graced to know and celebrate the Blessed Virgin as our Mother. Our rich and prayerful assembly today gives gentle but powerful testimony to Mary’s reality in our lives.

“As Pope Francis has emphasised often, it’s the tenderness of a mother that is so distinctive and so necessary for us.

“Let us emulate her tender example in all our relationships.

“Let us seek her faithful intercessions to remain fruitful disciples of Jesus in a world that so longs for the Church to be a wellspring of lavish maternal love.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel parishioners Thuy and Hiep Bui have been attending the Marian Procession for more than 10 years and Thuy said even the bad weather didn’t stop them from coming to pray.

“The important thing is to come and pray and listen to the preaching,” she said.

“We are reminded that Our Lady appeared to the children of Fatima more than 100 years ago and although we don’t see her like the saints did, we can pray and talk to her.

“I hope that the younger generation will join us because Our Lady appeared to young saints so I hope they will have the belief and come and celebrate as we do.”


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