News

Clear Skies Predicted for City's 10th Walk with Christ Procession

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
5 Jun 2015

The rain didn't stop thousands turning out for the 2012 Walk with Christ

With sunshine and temperatures of a balmy 21 degrees predicted for Sunday, 7 June, the city's annual Walk with Christ Eucharistic Procession is expected to break all previous records with more than 4000 men, women and children taking part.

"This year also marks the Archdiocese of Sydney's 10th Walk with Christ so we want as many people as possible to join us and celebrate this special milestone," says Catherine Kennedy, Director of CREDO, Archdiocese's Catholic Renewal and Evangelisation Office which organises the event each year.

Staff and students from schools across the Archdiocese along with members of the city's many parishes, congregations, religious movements as well as ordinary mums and dads and their kids will be among the many thousands set to take part in this year's Walk with Christ Procession through Sydney's CBD.

Held each year on the Feast of Corpus Christi, the procession traditionally begins at Lang Park opposite St Patrick's Church Hill before winding its way through the Sydney CBD along George then Hunter Street to College Street before arriving in the forecourt of St Mary's Cathedral.

Bishop Terry Brady will lead this year's annual Walk with Christ Eucharistic Procession

"In only one of the previous nine Walk with Christ Processions, only one had to be cancelled due to storms, wind and terrible weather. That was in 2013 when everything had to be transferred to St Mary's Cathedral," Catherine says.

Sydney's unpredictable winter weather meant other processions have been held in the rain but although numbers were down slightly, most people still wanted to participate.

The Walk with Christ Procession in 2012 saw many in raincoats and carrying umbrellas, but despite the weather determined to celebrate their faith and proclaim this to the world.

"The Walk with Christ Eucharistic Procession achieves three wonderful things each year. The first is the public demonstration of faith and the opportunity for us to express our belief in the real Presence. The second is the opportunity to pray for the city and the third is the chance to evangelise to passersby who stop and watch and want to know more about our faith and what Corpus Christi means," Catherine says.

Although the prayers of those taking part in the Procession have always included prayers for the city and Sydney's 3 million plus inhabitants, last year's procession marked the first time that included the blessing of the NSW Parliament, Sydney Hospital, Martin Place and the Supreme Court of NSW.

Among the thousands who joined the 2009 Walk with Christ was this small very proud young chorister

Bishop Peter Comensoli, the then Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese before being appointed Bishop of Broken Bay in November year, led the 2014 Procession, and as he entered Macquarie Street he spontaneously stopped to bless each of these important city and state institutions.

"From now on the blessing of these institutions will become part of the procession," Catherine says.

The Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP will be overseas this weekend where he is meeting with officials for World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland.  Instead the  procession will be led by the Archdiocese's Auxiliary Bishop, the Most Rev Terry Brady.

Deacon Frank Zacka of the Archdiocese's Permanent Diaconate will proclaim the Gospel as part of the Procession aided by the new Master of Ceremonies at St Mary's Cathedral, Father Emmanuel Seo.

The Walk with Christ has its own special colours of blue and orange and in a first this year, participants will be able to buy commemorative blue and orange silicone bracelets and key rings. These colours will also help identify the 30 marshals who will wear blue t-shirts and be on hand to direct and give assistance to anyone who may need it. Orange t-shirts will be worn by the CREDO team of 10 evangelists, including Catherine who will walk the edges of the procession and engage passersby in conversation.

Sydney's first Walk with Christ in 2006 began what has become a beloved and important tradition

"This is always fulfilling and rewarding. People are immensely curious about the procession and we end up having wonderful conversations. We also offer to pray for them take their prayer petitions as we walk through the city," Catherine says.

In addition to praying the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the thousands in the procession also sings favourite hymns with a musical accompaniment coming from speakers inside several golf carts.

"Once we get to the Cathedral forecourt we have a cantor and an organist but during the walk we rely on music piped from speakers in the golf carts," she says.

The procession commences at 2.30 pm with participants encouraged to gather at Lang Park at 2 pm. Reaching the Cathedral by around 3.15 pm those who joined in the procession assemble in the Cathedral forecourt where there will be Adoration and Proclamation of the Gospel followed by a homily delivered by Bishop Brady. 

Teeming rain saw the Procession cancelled with the 2013 Walk with Christ held entirely in St Mary's Cathedral.

After the Bishop's homily, Books of Petitions from each parish and school in the Archdiocese will be placed before the Blessed Sacrament on the steps of the Cathedral.

"The presentation of the Books of Petitions has been part of the Corpus Christi celebrations and the Walk with Christ Procession since 2012. Each parishioner and each student at the Archdiocese's 150 Catholic schools is given a chance to write a prayer petition and have these placed beside the Holy Sacrament."

For details and information for the Archdiocese's 10th Eucharistic Walk with Christ Procession marking the Feast of Corpus Christi this Sunday, 7 June see http://www.credosydney.org/our-works/walk-with-christ/participating-in-the-walk