Dust off those walking shoes – St Patrick’s Pilgrimage this month!

By Josh Low

The annual St Patrick’s Pilgrimage will be held this month over two days on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 of March.

Open to all youth aged 16-35 years old, the two-day pilgrimage walk will begin at St Patrick’s Church in Colebrook on Saturday morning and see participants navigate approximately 40km in total on their way to Australia’s oldest continuously used Catholic Church, St John the Evangelist in Richmond.

Saturday evening will see pilgrims set up camp at the halfway mark, spend time in prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, fellowship, and the night under the stars.

Archbishop Julian said pilgrimages have always been a strong feature of Christianity and even more so the Jewish people, referencing their great pilgrimage out of Egypt to the Promised Land.

Archbishop Julian is encouraging all young people to join this pilgrimage in something very deeply grounded in our Catholic tradition. Photo: Supplied

“Throughout history, Christians have made pilgrimages to Rome, to Jerusalem and other holy sites,” he said.

“The idea is that life itself is a pilgrimage, and therefore going on a pilgrimage reflects our journey in life; with a goal, a destiny – and as Christians that is to be in heaven.

“Here, this pilgrimage is a pilgrimage between two churches that are very important in Tasmania.

“This year we are reversing the order [of the route] and beginning our pilgrimage at St Patrick’s in Colebrook and walking to St John’s in Richmond.

“I’d like to encourage all young people to come along and join this pilgrimage; it is something very deeply grounded in our Catholic tradition,” Archbishop Julian said.

“It’s a wonderful experience of the beauty of Tasmania and joining with others on this journey is also a way of living the idea that life is a pilgrimage to heaven.”

The past few years have seen between thirty and forty young people make the 40km walk over two days. Photo: Supplied

Office of Youth Evangelisation Director, Sam Clear said the St Patrick’s Pilgrimage has been a popular event for young people since its inception in 2017.

“Over the past few years the St Patrick’s Pilgrimage has seen between thirty and forty young people each year set out together on a joyful and satisfyingly tiring journey!

“It is an exceptional way for youth and young adults to build genuine friendships, all while journey deeper with Christ,” he said.

“The reversal of the route will result in the pilgrimage being even safer and hopefully more enjoyable, as the overall layout is now gently downhill.

“Following Mass in Colebrook, like St Patrick, we will step out on our journey, contemplating that humble missionary zeal that he carried to Ireland, with our final Mass at St John’s in Richmond being our re-emergence back into ‘civilisation’,” he concluded.

Those interested are encouraged to register as soon as possible. To do so, visit: https://StPatricksPilgrimage2023.eventbrite.com.au

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