THE canonisation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for three Nudgee College students.
Year 9 student Ryan Williams, and Year 11 students Matthew Connop and Djuma Dawes were in Rome with members of Brisbane’s Murri Ministry and representatives of Australian Catholic University (ACU) to take part in canonisation events.
In their first involvement the boys joined other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers to showcase a selection of indigenous songs and dances to a large crowd including Australian political and religious dignitaries at the Vatican Museum.
The ACU MacKillop Indigenous dancers’ performance followed the museum’s official opening of a special exhibition of indigenous Australian artefacts drawn from the Vatican’s Ethnological Museum’s collection on October 15.
Speaking after the event all three said it was an honour and a privilege to take part.
That was however just the start of their involvement in the various ceremonies.
The three students also played a significant role in the Mass of Thanksgiving at the Papal Basilica of St Paul’s Outside-the-Walls on October 18.
Immediately prior to Communion during the Mass Matthew Connop and Djuma Dawes carried a cross, constructed at Nudgee College and painted by Nudgee’s indigenous support officer Yvonne O’Neill to the altar where it remained displayed throughout the rest of the service.
Later that same day the Nudgee students were also on hand to help pilgrims experience the Mary MacKillop walking pilgrimages around Rome landmarks.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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