‘A bit of adventure’: youth challenged to take on pilgrimage

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Home > Media > News > ‘A bit of adventure’: youth challenged to take on pilgrimage
‘A bit of adventure’: youth challenged to take on pilgrimage

Days full of camping, walking, praying, and taking in beautiful scenery: the annual Pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Colebrook will run for the third time this month.

The pilgrimage will begin on Saturday, March 16 and conclude in the afternoon of Sunday, March 17 – the date set aside for the feast of St Patrick.

A pilgrimage for youth and young adults, the pilgrimage begins with Mass at St John’s Church in Richmond before the pilgrims begin the two-day walk to St Patrick’s Church in Colebrook.

The young people will walk some 40 kilometres over the two days, and be joined by Archbishop Julian.

According to His Grace, pilgrimage is “deeply part of the Christian tradition” and was also present in the Old Testament where the Jews would make pilgrimages to the temple in Jerusalem for key feasts.

“In more ancient times people walked because that was the only mode of transport really available to them … These days of course people can use modern means,” he said.

“But the ancient idea of a pilgrimage is to walk, because the walking too has a value in itself.

“The effort required by the pilgrim in meeting the challenges of heat or cold, as well as walking long distances, makes for the “full engagement of the person”, His Grace said.

“We’ve introduced this pilgrimage from St John’s Church in Richmond to St Patrick’s Church in Colebrook, which is particularly oriented around young people, that they might have the opportunity of a pilgrimage which is walking.”

The Archbishop says that even he doesn’t find it “an easy two-day walk”.

“I think there’s a bit of adventure involved.”

He says the spiritual dimension of the pilgrimage – doing something with a spiritual purpose – is attractive to young people.

“One of the ideas of a pilgrimage is to say we’re all on a pilgrimage through life, and our destiny is eternal life – is heaven – and so walking on a pilgrimage is like a pilgrimage of faith through life.”

As well as the physical challenges and opportunities to meet and get to know other pilgrims, the group will at times pray as they walk, and also take part in Eucharistic adoration at the campsite.

“This is the third time we’ve run the pilgrimage, and the numbers have been slowly increasing,” Archbishop Julian said.

“We hope that will continue.”

Young people aged 18-35 can register for the pilgrimage here.