Following a tradition of more than ten years now, the Capuchin Friars and Capuchin Young Adults (CYA) in Sydney made their Annual Advent Pilgrimage from St Fiacre's Church, Leichhardt, to the tomb of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop in North Sydney on the First Sunday of Advent.
The group began with the 9:30am parish Mass and then received a commissioning blessing from Fr Ben near the 2015 Christmas Crib scene in the church - which this year incorporates the themes of the Year of Consecrated Life and the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy.
The group of friars and young people then proceeded along the way, singing Christmas Carols, praying the rosary and bearing witness to the coming of the Lord. They went over the ANZAC Bridge, through Darling Harbour and stopped for lunch at Hyde Park. After visiting the Cathedral Christmas Crib, they proceeded through the city of Sydney and then crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The group stopped at nine stations along the way to pray and reflect on a novena in honour of St Mary MacKillop, taking in various aspects of her life.
The group then arrived in North Sydney and had some personal time to pray for the intentions that they carried throughout the pilgrimage at the tomb of Australia's first saint. They concluded the day with Vespers. May the prayers of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop accompany us as we continue our Advent pilgrimage towards Christmas.