In the Footsteps of a Pilgrim

16 May 2017 | General Interest

This year, CSO staff, principals and teachers from around our diocese stepped out in faith in the footsteps of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop and walked the ‘Aussie Camino’ from Portland to Penola.

I was very privileged to join thousands of fellow Aussie pilgrims on this extraordinary experience that connected us in ways we could never imagine. We were bound for 7 days on an adventure that opened our eyes to all the natural wonders of the world.

This is a very new venture, not only for our diocese but also nationally. Our initial group marked the 245th pilgrim since the inaugural pilgrimage with a wide range of fellow Aussie pilgrims.

Mary MacKillop is significant because of her links to education and the many Josephite schools in our diocese. Significantly, she also inspires us to great acts of selfless service to the marginalised and most remote.

She was a woman of integrity and courage who was prepared to stick to her principles in the face of great opposition. She was also a woman of great heart and forgiveness, and love of her Church in spite of its arrogance.

Mary was a pioneer and we became, briefly, pioneer pilgrims, traversing the frontiers of our endurance and spirit.

Pilgrimage is designed to take people out of their comfort zones and into liminality: the place where heaven meets earth, the place where Jesus waits. It strips you, at each stage, of yet another piece of unnecessary baggage, until, lighter, we walk more gently through life.

The experience can ravage, soothe, surprise and challenge. None of us went unchallenged. It was in our stride that we rose to new challenges each day, in hope and self-belief.

Bernadette Gibson

Article source: