THE sound of singing and laughter trailed through Brisbane’s city heart on October 5 when more than 700 pilgrims made their way to St Stephen’s Cathedral to hand back their Jubilee pilgrim staffs.
People from Brisbane East and North Country deaneries and the World Youth Day pilgrims who journeyed to the Holy Land and Rome during August gathered in Post Office Square for a short prayer service and several songs before the staff bearers led the crowd into St Stephen’s Cathedral.
For the World Youth Day pilgrims, it was a happy reunion, where friendships were renewed and stories were retold.
On arrival at St Stephen’s the deanery and youth representatives were heralded by trumpets and Archbishop John Bathersby welcomed them and invited them through the Jubilee Door.
During the Gospel from Matthew, storytellers told Brisbane archdiocese’s story in the Jubilee Year interspersed with passages from The Beatitudes.
During his homily, Archbishop Bathersby said the effect of the Jubilee Year on all the parishes of the archdiocese was profound.
“I was amazed at the number and variety of Jubilee events in the archdiocese. In parish after parish, institution after institution, people had gathered to celebrate the most significant of years,” he said.
The archbishop described the pilgrim staffs as holy objects and old friends.
He said the fundamental reason for the Jubilee Year was to make each one of us better people.
“Wouldn’t it be marvellous if in each parish and in each institution we were able to do the same thing, explain to one another what has happened to our faith this year and to thank God for the graces we have experienced?
“Let us pledge our lives to Him and in our own imperfect, very human way, seek to make a difference as we enter a new year, a new century and a new millennium.”