I was immediately attracted to this opportunity. A supported walk through the length of the Blue Mountains would be a special time for reflection after the death a few months previously of my Dad, Jack Mullane, then aged 98.
RELATED: The Epiphany Pilgrimage
I was born when my parents lived in Warrimoo, and was raised at Regentville, near Penrith, and grew up looking west to the Lapstone Ridge, and frequently walking and picnicking with family and friends in many parts of the Blue Mountains. In particular, my Dad had lived and worked, begun his family, and made many long lasting friends in the towns of Katoomba, Springwood, Warrimoo and Penrith.
The time immediately leading up the Feast of the Epiphany appealed in all ways but one – and that was the hot weather. It promised a timely opportunity for remembering and reflecting and praying and looking ahead to the year to come.
I knew no one else who planned to walk this journey. I saw it as a great opportunity to meet others, particularly women and men of faith, who loved bushwalking. But also, as a great time to walk alone for part of each day. And it was a bonus that the pilgrimage would include prayer, Eucharist and a chance to visit and meet parishioners at the various Blue Mountains parishes.
Some aspects of the pilgrimage that were particularly rich for me included:
- the fellowship within the group – the core group of 16 who walked each of the seven days, but also the richness of the larger group, including so many workers behind the scenes, as well as the day by day walkers who joined in;
- the generosity and warm hospitality and very professional care and leadership of the organising team;
- the leadership in prayer and sacrament by our chaplain, Fr Dom Murphy, and the support of the parish priests and their generous parishioners along the way – we were welcomed and given such practical hospitality each night;
- being immersed in the bush tracks and local streets of the Blue Mountains for seven consecutive days;
- the closing Mass and meal on the bush block in the Chapel of the Magi, under construction at Nioka Place, Bell.
Sincere thanks to all the generous people who made this pilgrimage possible.
By Frances Warner, 2018 pilgrim.
Registrations are now open for the 2019 Epiphany Pilgrimage (2 – 8 January 2019). We would love to welcome you on the journey with us.
Registrations close on Sunday, 9 December 2018 or when the pilgrimage reaches capacity.