‘Mini-pilgrimage before the big one’

ACYF pilgrims at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne on Sunday (Melbourne Catholic)

More than 1000 young people from across Melbourne made their way to the CBD on Sunday for a pilgrimage walk and commissioning event in the lead-up to next month’s Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Perth. Source: Melbourne Catholic.

Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli welcomed pilgrims at St Augustine’s Church on Bourke Street and acknowledged their efforts in preparing for the journey to ACYF.

“Great to see you all and great that we’re gathered in such big numbers!” He then offered everyone a blessing before embarking on a walk through the city – what he called “the mini-pilgrimage before the big one”.

The St Joseph’s Ferntree Gully marching band led pilgrims as they walked along Bourke Street towards St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Dressed in their official Melbourne ACYF t-shirts and hats, pilgrims passed by the iconic Melbourne GPO and through Bourke Street Mall, where they were joined by more musicians from the Neocatechetical Way, who then joined the back of the procession.

The festive atmosphere was contagious, with different pilgrim groups spontaneously breaking into song, and passers-by stopping to take in the unique sense of joy on display in Melbourne’s CBD.

At St Patrick’s Cathedral, pilgrims were invited to come forward to be commissioned and receive their official pilgrim pin. The pin design is inspired by the yellow stained glass windows that adorn the cathedral walls, which Archbishop Comensoli explained was a symbol of the light of Christ shining through.

“We have these very large windows in St Patrick’s with a lovely glow that comes through,” Archbishop Peter explained. “The windows are made up of many diamond-shaped panes. So it is not just one window in a sense that makes up this wonderful glow ... each one of us too is differently crafted – each in our own different circumstances, in our strengths and weaknesses, cracks and brokenness, and in our blessedness. Each one of us is unique. Each one of us is shining.

“In a sense, we become prisms of a higher deeper light – of God’s light. We glow with God. Glow, my young friends! You glow with the light of Christ, and I want you to glow brightly and shine out for others.”

Following the liturgy, the celebrations continued outside as pilgrims sprawled onto the Cathedral grounds for a barbecue and concert with music from local artists.


Pilgrims take to the streets for ACYF Commissioning Event (Melbourne Catholic

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