The Diocesan Feast Day of St Maria was held at Holy Cross Church, Helensburgh. The parish was honoured to be blessed with the relics of St Maria Goretti, Sts Gemma Galgani and Gabriel Possenti. The Passionist priests who accompanied the relics to Australia invited people to touch the relics as they did with the WYD 2008 Cross. The relics are housed in a specially-designed Tasmanian blackwood reliquary. Although this reliquary was in South Australia at the time, we were given permission for the parish to host the smaller vessel of the relics at our Mass. This was ornately carved silver pewter tied with a red coil and about 25x12x10 cms in size. The relics were in the church from Thursday to Friday.
The day commenced with the senior school children being present in the church early where Father explained the relics and the history of these saints. St maria died at the age of 12, while Sts Gemma and Gabriel died in their early twenties. These three saints who are patron of youth, were filled with a great love and faith in the Lord.
Our celebration commenced with quiet time, rosary, adoration and benediction, followed by a very spiritual song-filled Mass. Father in his homily related the greatness of these saints, especially St Maria Goretti and how important it is that we as Catholic Women continue to pray to her for the children of the world.
After Mass we adjourned to McKillop Parish Hall where members, parishioners and friens enjoyed lunch, laughter and companionship.
Report: Beth Stewart