24th September 2017 (7:30 am to 10:30 am)
As part of the Year of Grace, the Church in Australia has organised a pilgrimage of a relic of Saint Francis Xavier, a former patron saint of Australia during mission times. Saint Francis Xavier was a student of Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits. He is arguably the greatest missionary of the Church since Saint Paul. “It’s very rare for the relic of the arm of Saint Francis Xavier to ever leave the Gesu Church in Rome, but we thought it would be good as part of a special Year of Grace that Australia is having, that we might have the arm of Saint Francis Xavier make a pilgrimage around the country,” said Bishop Peter Comensoli. During the next two months, the treasured relic will make its way all around Australia.
The relic was in the Wollongong Diocese from 23 September to 25 September.
Fr. Richard Shortall SJ giving a talk on the life of St. Francis Xavier. The church as packed to capacity for the Mass that followed.
The main celebrant was Bishop Peter Ingham with Fr. Jarek, Fr. Richard Green, Fr. Gabriel and Fr. Richard Shortall SJ assisting.
Members of the “Friends of St. Francis – Berrima” (John D’arcy, Kevin Harrison, Bob Strode and Brian Wilson) acting as pall bearers taking the relic outside for transport to the next venue.
The reliquary is placed into the hearse.
The relic of St. Francis is farewelled by Bishop Peter, Fr. Jarek, Fr. Richard and parishioners.
The relic departs for the next stage of its journey – Port Kembla.