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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Walk with Christ—A moment for Catholic heroes

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Corpus Christi Sydney - The Catholic Weekly
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP blessing the attendees. Photo: Alphonsus Fok.

Sunday afternoon, during the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi, as I watched a sea of faithful awash St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt like a deepening tide, the magnitude of the event provoked the strangest song for the moment to enter into my head.

“Heroes,” by David Bowie.

Now while it is probably the first time ever the Starman has been associated with a sacred moment, if you think about it, the tune, in the context of the time makes perfect sense.

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Because last weekend, almost every earthly obstacle was thrown in front of the Walk with Christ in Sydney. Every opportunity was provided for people to “sit it out.”

Yet despite the trials, a record number of Catholic heroes ignored the excuses and came out to celebrate their love of Jesus Christ and profess their faith.

First, there were unrelated protests, which locked down Hyde Park for the majority of the day. Secondly, a huge deluge overnight brought more rain to Sydney in 12 hours, than is usually received for the entire month of June. And thirdly, there is the ever-prevailing sense of unease in society, brought on by the ideological wars, cost of living battles, and associated hardships that have been making life a little bit tougher to deal with.

Yet despite all these adversities, despite the struggles, our Sydney Catholic community attended the sacred feast and put their faith in the Lord.

Corpus Christi Sydney - The Catholic Weekly
Images by Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2024

Even though, statistically speaking, many in the crowd would be struggling with bills, are in mortgage stress, and some even ridiculed by secular society for their faith, they shrugged off the trouble of the time and proudly took to the streets and said “we believe in Jesus Christ.”

Watching the bishops, clergy, religious orders, families, young people, the elderly, all marching together in common fraternity, made me forget about all the pain in the world and be grateful “if just for one day.”

And that my friends, is exactly the power of prayer and the power of popular piety. It has the power to lift, to reach high. Walk with Christ was a moment for heroes and together we reached for the highest fraction of our faith.

It was an afternoon that transcended trouble. It was a time when Catholic faithful of all rites, cultural backgrounds, socio-economic groups came together to celebrate our deep entrenched Catholic values and beliefs.

With so much heartache happening around the globe, Sydney’s Walk with Christ 2024 illustrated the power of Christ’s love within us. It demonstrated the need for public devotion on a grand scale. It punctuated the purity of our beliefs and that as Catholics we never walk alone.

It was at this event that our Archbishop declared our intention to host the International Eucharistic Congress in 2028. And having experienced our own Walk with Christ, what could be a more grand ambition?

Images by Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2024

In the sea of devout disciples last weekend, we already saw islands of all nations. There were European Catholics, Anglos, Asians, Islanders, Africans and members of all nations. Sydney’s Walk with Christ is already an international demonstration of devotion.

Every single person who braved the weather, who put their own personal troubles to one side, stood up and professed their faith showed a measure of true devotion that we should all aspire to take with us and live out every day of our lives.

Thank you for all of you who attended this most holy of celebrations. You were all heroes…even if just for one day.

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