A small group of friends and I spent the weekend on a Lenten pilgrimage: on Saturday, we walked from St Joseph's Church in Hobart to St John's Church in Richmond (25 km); and on Sunday, another 28 km to St Patrick's Church, Colebrook. The three churches mentioned are all historic: St Joseph's, built 1841, was Hobart's original pro-cathedral; St John the Evangelist's, built 1837, is the oldest extant Catholic church in Australia; and St Patrick's, Colebrook, built 1857, is a perfect Pugin design.
His Grace condescended to join us for the last hour of the walk into Richmond, and proceeded to celebrate Mass for us in the Ordinary Form; Hugh and Tony sang the Gregorian propers, just as they did the next day at Colebrook, where Fr Suresh sang a Missa cantata. En route, from time to time we said the Rosary (ten decades each day), sang hymns, conversed and enjoyed the pleasant weather and scenery.
Simon and Lyle took turns in driving our support vehicle, which kept us supplied with water, plus food and drink for lunch, morning and afternoon tea. The pilgrimage could not have happened without the kind permission of the local parish priest, nor the support of other friends of mine who assisted us. David, who joined our band on the Sunday, lives locally, and helped plan the route.
It was a pity that a few others were unable to attend in the event, but c'est la vie. I must say that such a generous dose of unaccustomed fresh air, sunshine and exercise all agreed with me, and I cannot wait to strike out cross-country again. Being a Catholic affair, we quenched our hard-earned thirst and enjoyed a pleasant dinner together in a local pub each evening.
Colebrook was originally named Jerusalem, and so our little venture bore a somewhat grandiose title: a Lenten Pilgrimage to Tasmania's Jerusalem. All pilgrimages, large and small, are images of the progress of each Christian, and of the whole Church, through the desert of this world to the supernal City of God. As St Louis IX said as he lay dying, "We will go to Jerusalem".
St Patrick's Church, Colebrook