Once again, I've walked as part of the Christus Rex Pilgrimage from Ballarat to Bendigo – this was my eighth. This year, the main trial was a plague of mosquitoes, particularly on the last day; I've never known mosquitoes like it. But of course the holy pilgrimage itself found its culmination and raison d'être in the solemn celebration of the traditional form of the Mass: a pre-pilgrimage Requiem High Mass on the Thursday evening at Ballarat Cathedral; the morning Votive High Mass of the Holy Cross, with commemoration of SS Simon and Jude, Apostles, early on the Friday morning; the beautiful midday Mass of Our Lady on Saturday; the afternoon Pontifical High Mass of Christ the King; and the Monday morning High Mass, this year of the Vigil of All Saints. In addition, as usual, I assisted my former parish priest, Fr Rowe, by serving his Low Mass on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday; this meant I missed a bit of each day's walk, which wasn't so bad! The camaraderie of the pilgrimage was itself a great blessing, as it affords me the chance to catch up with old friends I rarely see these days. I have already booked my accommodation for next year. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
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