ON Sunday, March 4, our Parish of Our Lady Help Of Christians Heathcote was graced with the presence of about 50 people, including the Spanish Ambassador, celebrating the annual El Rocio festival.
El Rocio is a part of Spain that resembles the Heathcote area in appearance and, through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, Jesus has worked miracles of healing there, which is why the Spanish people have come to Heathcote in the last six years.
They brought with them a beautiful float carrying the image of Our Lady of El Rocio, and after Mass they were led by a flag-carrying horseman as they walked a small Camino on the outskirts of the town.
Mass was accompanied by Spanish hymns and a beautifully sung Our Father.
After Mass there was a traditional and graceful Spanish dance performed by the ladies and a gentleman.
The parishioners remarked how much they enjoyed the presence of the Spanish people who had come up from Melbourne and who not only shared in the Mass, but also delighted us with an insight into Spanish culture.
We look forward to their visit to us next year when we also hope to involve the children of Holy Rosary School. We wish our Spanish brothers and sisters every blessing as they share with us their faith and their culture.