BRISBANE’S Central Deanery offered the welcome mat, along with lamingtons and scones, to international visitors, on July 10 at Stuartholme School as part of the Days in the Diocese program leading in to World Youth Day.
Beginning with “an Australian afternoon tea” the hundreds of visitors and locals then gathered for a liturgy led by Auxiliary Bishop Brian Finnigan of Brisbane.
Central Dean Fr Ken Howell welcomed those gathered while students of St James’ College offered the “welcome to country”.
French visitor Damian Gineste, 22, said indigenous Turrbal and Jagara people then presented a special demonstration.
“I enjoyed the whole thing,” the medical student said.
“This is the first time I go so far from France … and I also enjoy all the hospitality.”
Damian and French comrade Emmanuel Denis, from the Diocese of Nancy, enjoyed their homestay with a family at the Grange.
Using the Gospel of the day (Matthew 10:7-15), translations were offered in French, Italian, German, Latin, Spanish and Portuguese.
Worshippers prayed for the safe travel of Pope Benedict XVI, for “a spirit of welcome and hospitality” for pilgrims amid Days in the Diocese across Queensland and “the guidance and inspiration of Mary, model for those who follow Christ”.
An “Irish Blessing” was sung towards the conclusion of the liturgy while the final hymn was an adaptation of Bach’s “Ode to Joy”.
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