New Zealand has its own pilgrimages

Pilgrimages have greatly advanced in popularity in recent years throughout the world. Who would have thought that thousands of people, young and old, would queue to walk the 800+ km of the Pilgrimage to Compostela in Spain, recently popularized by the film “The Way”, at present screening in New Zealand cinemas! The film is well worth seeing, as it gives a good idea of what is involved in this classic religious pilgrimage, even though many of the walkers are not even Christians.

We have our own shrines and pilgrimages in New Zealand, and a combined pilgrimage-retreat that is fast catching on is the aptly named “Road Retreat”, that alternates between visiting shrines and places of historic interest to the Catholic Church, one year in the North Island and the next year in the South.

This year the pilgrimage-retreat begins on November 17th in Kerikeri and first visits Catholic and Anglican sites that are of so much interest to us all. For example, New Zealand’s oldest church, Christ Church (Anglican), and Bishop Pompallier’s burial place in Motuti. Joy Cowley, wih her deep knowledge of New Zealand Catholic history is the tour guide.

It is impossible to detail all the places visited. Suffice it to mention of the wonderful sites of Mother Aubert and James K Baxter on the Whanganui River, with its iconic church and community of Mother Aubert’s sisters

The pilgrimage ends with the Home of Compassion and the historic Mount St. cemetery, where so many of our Catholic forebears are buried.

Anyone interested should certainly get in touch with Patricia Parsons, tel: 0274219064


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News category: New Zealand, Odd Spot.

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