On 11th June 2016 more than 100 of St. Mark’s Parishioners travelled to the beautiful Marian Valley in Canungra on a pilgrimage that formed part of our 60th Jubilee celebrations.

After sharing morning tea, Mass was held in the main open-air Black Madonna Chapel with the Pauline Fathers, whilst birds sang in the trees all around us. We gave thanks for our Parish of 60 years and prayed that God would touch our lives as we honoured the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord in this special and sacred place.

Processing round the Chapels, we were invited to pray with Our Lady for her help to bring Christ to our world as she did. The sun shone brightly on us as we made our pilgrimage around the scenic valley.

The magnificent life-size Stations of the Cross, gloriously framed with red poinsettia flowers at this time of year, were inspiring and moving. A shady rainforest walk led to hidden treasure – a statue of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.

The outstanding natural beauty and spirituality of the area refreshed and restored us, allowing parishioners to enjoy getting to know each other better in the lovely surroundings.

Our picnic lunch became a shared multi-cultural feast and many people visited the well-stocked Piety Shop for special souvenirs of a wonderful day spent in the Marian Valley before we all headed back to our daily lives refreshed and restored.