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Sydney Catholics Walk With Christ

Walk With Christ returned to the streets of Sydney recently to coincide with the end of the Year of Mercy celebrations for Sydney Catholics.

Walk With Christ is the Archdiocese of Sydney's annual Eucharistic Procession. The walk travels through the streets of Sydney and culminates with prayer and Benediction at St Mary's Cathedral forecourt.

Traditionally held on the Feast of Corpus Christi in late May or early June, this year the walk was on 20 November and travelled a brand new route through the city.

The date coincided with the closing of the Jubilee doors at St Peter's Basilica, Rome and the completion of the Year of Mercy and presented a special opportunity for the Archdiocese to celebrate.

Coming together under the motto, "Walk with Christ the King of Mercy", a crowd of nearly 5,000 from as far afield as the Central Coast gathered to be part of the rich Catholic tradition of public faith demonstration and celebrate the event's 11th year.

In his homily, his Grace, Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher OP, reminded participants that while the Year of Mercy might be officially over there was much more to do, and "a lifetime of mercy was needed."

Everyone enjoyed the event immensely says organiser Cathy Kennedy, director of the Catholic Renewal and Evangelisation Diocesan Office.

"So often our experience of the Church is simply our own parish or school," she says. "When we're all together celebrating our faith it reminds us that we are involved in something much bigger."

"The idea of the walk is not just to build our faith but also to be a witness to the city," says Cathy.

 Thousands of Catholics marching the streets drew their fair share of attention she says.

"It really is quite something," she says. "Onlookers are genuinely moved and interested in what's going on. We make a big effort to engage with them and offer to pray for them."

This year the Archdiocese also made a conscious effort to reach out, as Pope Francis has asked, to those on the fringes of society and involve them in the walk.

It trebled its order of Books of Life, which are distributed to parishes and schools and filled with prayer petitions before being carried in the procession and placed on the steps of the Cathedral during the liturgy.

This year, the books were also sent to Catholic charitable institutions and the Archdiocese encouraged parishes to take them on their visits, wherever they were going to serve, and invite those they met with to include their prayers.

"We were very pleased with the response from the parishes," says Cathy.

CCI was pleased to provide financial support as an event partner of the Walk With Christ.

"Our sponsors were so important," says Cathy. "Especially this year with the extra costs associated with the adjustment to the new route. It was wonderful to have the support of organisations like CCI."

Like to be involved in the next Walk with Christ? Keep in touch at Sydney.catholic.org or Walk With Christ Sydney on Facebook.

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