Young people challenged to take on St Patrick’s Pilgrimage

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Young people challenged to take on St Patrick’s Pilgrimage

Young Tasmanians are being challenged to step out of ordinary life and take on a two-day pilgrimage from Richmond to Colebrook in March.

Now in its fourth year, the St Patrick’s Pilgrimage takes young people from the oldest continuously used Catholic church in Australia, St John’s Church in Richmond, to the restored St Patrick’s Church in Colebrook.

Tomasz Juszczak, Director of the Office of Youth Evangelisation, says that the pilgrims, who will need to journey around 20 kilometres a day and face some significant hills, will be challenged – both physically and spiritually.

“The physical challenge also brings a spiritual challenge with it,” he said, commenting that people can offer up their physical difficulties, or pray through the physical struggle.
While some young people may come with a particular intention for the pilgrimage, others have come and been surprised at what they’ve received from the experience, says Mr Juszczak.

He says one highlight for young people on past pilgrimages has been the presence of so many religious brothers and sisters from around Tasmania.

“For many young people this really brings a beautiful unity among the young people and the religious, and opens them up a lot more to learning about religious life.”

The pilgrimage will begin and end with Mass at both churches, but most of the day will be spent walking with pilgrims free to talk, pray or spend time walking on their own. Archbishop Julian, who initiated the pilgrimage in 2017, will again take part.

One night of the pilgrimage will be spent camping, with pilgrims able to relax, eat together and tend to their blisters before a time of Eucharistic adoration under the stars.

“Almost all the young people that come to the pilgrimage, they come with an open heart. All you need is an open heart and everyone will take to adoration, or any other prayer really well,” Mr Juszczak said.

“It just brings everything together so well after a long day of walking, a meal, some fellowship, and to have that spiritual grounding with God, with Christ, is quite beautiful.”

The St Patrick’s Pilgrimage will be held from March 14-15. 

Young people aged 14-35 can register here.