Join parishioners throughout the Havant and Portsmouth Pastoral Areas as they embark on a special Year of Mercy pilgrimage in solidarity with refugees on 3 September at 9.30am from SS Thomas of Canterbury & Thomas More in Emsworth all the way to Portsmouth Cathedral.
Organiser and CAFOD volunteer, Maureen Thompson told us,
“During this special Year of Mercy, Pope Francis invites us to make a pilgrimage to mark ‘an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal’. While the weather is finally warm, we thought it would be a great opportunity to get out and about and make this journey of spiritual reflection.
“The idea of pilgrimage is especially powerful in light of the current migration crisis. More people than ever before in human history are now on forced journeys very far from home. As Pope Francis has said, “Biblical revelation urges us to welcome the stranger; it tells us that in doing so, we open doors to God and that in the faces of others we see the face of Christ himself.”
“With this in mind, this pilgrimage is a way to show our solidarity with all those fleeing war, poverty and persecution in this world. We will stop at six points along the way for short reflections, using the CAFOD Year of Mercy pilgrimage resource along the way which includes stories, scripture and prayers prepared by CAFOD, CSAN and the Jesuit Refugee Service.
“As part of this journey, we’re asking people to bring their passport or a mock up on one, and a photo of their family. We will use these in our prayer stops along the way.
“Everyone is welcome to join us for the whole 10.8 miles of course but we’ve worked out a route with various points where you can join us along the way depending on how much time you have or your walking ability. The walk is mostly on pathways so ‘pushchair friendly’.
“All under 18s must be accompanied by an adult and walkers are advised to have good walking shoes, suitable clothing for the weather conditions. Walkers will also need a packed lunch and water and sunscreen if it’s sunny. On arrival at the Cathedral we will end our walk and have some tea and cake.
“For those of us who wish to receive the Jubilee Indulgence, we will need to enter the Cathedral through the Holy Door, make confession and then attend Mass at 6pm. Walkers will then need to arrange a lift home or return by train.
“We’re asking people to let us let us know if they’re coming by contacting either Jim Graham on 023 9247 1191 or myself on 01243 377411 or by emailing me via firstname.lastname@example.org
“It would be wonderful if groups from other churches would join us. It would also be helpful if someone could take on the role of liaison to collect names and contact details for their church.”
Thank you so much Maureen, Stuart and Jim and everyone at St Joseph’s and SS Thomas of Canterbury & Thomas More for organising this!