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Eucharistic Procession in Punchbowl

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The candlelit procession began at 7pm after evening prayers at St John the Beloved church in Greenacre with Fr Ibrahim Sultan and Melkite Bishop Robert Rabbat. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
The candlelit procession began at 7pm after evening prayers at St John the Beloved church in Greenacre with Fr Ibrahim Sultan and Melkite Bishop Robert Rabbat. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Hundreds of Maronite, Melkite and Roman Catholic faithful gathered for an outdoor Eucharistic procession for the feast of Corpus Christi on 8 June.

The candlelit procession began at 7pm after evening prayers at St John the Beloved church in Greenacre with Fr Ibrahim Sultan and Melkite Bishop Robert Rabbat.

After a walk of about a kilometre, mostly along busy Waterloo Road, the procession concluded with benediction and Mass celebrated by Fr Michael Sandroussi at St Charbel’s church in Punchbowl.

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Also participating were parishioners of St Jerome’s, led by Fr Joseph Gedeon.

Parishioners from the three rites threw rose petals before the Blessed Sacrament and sang traditional hymns, accompanied by the stirring sounds of bagpipes and snare drums played by St John’s parish band.

As they drew near St Charbel’s Punchbowl, its church bells rang loudly in the darkness to signal the arrival of the Blessed Sacrament.

Organiser Norman Bejani said the annual combined parish procession was as spiritually profound as it was visually spectacular.

“You felt the presence of God with us,” he said.

“Everyone was praying, everyone was singing and when we reached St Charbel’s with its bells ringing, everyone spontaneously stopped and knelt before the Blessed Sacrament.

“Some people came out of their houses to see us go past, one lady brought out her statue of Our Lady to be blessed by the priests.

“We passed a park and there were people there for footy training who stopped to watch, with their jaws dropping.

“Each year it grows in number. It felt like Easter again, it felt like the resurrection.

“This takes months of planning and coordinating with the council, traffic control and the police, as well as the three parishes, and we are so grateful for the support we had so we can bring our three parishes and three rites together for this beautiful feast again this year.”

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