The Mass was well attended, with some people especially coming from Cairns and the Tablelands as well as Aboriginal students from Mount Saint Bernard’s College in Herberton, who participated in the Mass. The celebration began on the steps of the Church with Father Robert Greenup OSA and Deacon Ralph Madigan welcoming everyone and performing the “smoking ceremony”.
The procession of altar servers, ministers, deacon and priest was led into the Church by local Aboriginal parishioners playing the didgeridoo and clapsticks, always such a haunting and sound.
During Mass the guest speaker was Gertrude Davis, who Gertrude is a member of the Diocese of Cairns’ Indigenous Connections ministry team, which also includes Fr Robert Greenup and Deacon Ralph Madigan. Gertrude spoke on the life she led as a child and the difficulties she and her family faced growing up. It was a story of perseverance, a story of faith in God, a story of love for her children and working to obtain the best for them.
The music and singing raised the roof, with organist Lyn Harris and the Church choir leading the praise. Again the haunting sound of the didgeridoo and clapsticks added to the music and singing.
Following Mass morning tea was shared beside the church on the Reconciliation Lawn, where friendships were renewed.