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Lenten pilgrimage focuses on Easter message

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Twenty members of the Brooklyn Park/Richmond parish journeyed to Penola during Lent to pray the Stations of the Cross surrounded by reminders of the early ministry of Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods.

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The group comprised parish priest Fr Peter Zwaans, Sr Shirley O’Loghlen rsj and two Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus, as well as 16 lay men and women.

The pilgrimage began after 7.30am Mass at St John Bosco Church, Brooklyn Park, on March 27, with the group returning late the following day.

The first Stations were prayed at Fr Wood’s Park, just outside Penola. Supported by Val De Brenni’s book Stations of the Cross: A Journey with St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Fr Peter read the introduction, Sr Shirley the ‘Moments in the life of Mary MacKillop’ section, a reader leading the ‘Moments in my life’ section and all joining in the prayer for each Station.

Parish priest Fr Michael Romeo welcomed the group to Penola and the pilgrims were given a guided tour of the Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre. Stations 4-6 were then prayed in St Joseph’s Church.

The following morning saw the pilgrims gathered at Mary MacKillop Stable School Park for reflection, photographs and to pray Stations 7-9.

They visited Kangaroo Inn – another significant location in the Tenison Woods-MacKillop story – for Stations 10 to 12. Finally they stopped in Robe where they prayed Stations 13 and 14, and attended Mass in St Mary Star of the Sea Church.

Participants said the reflections for each Station in Val De Brenni’s book were a highlight and the timing of the pilgrimage enabled them to ‘re-focus’ on the Easter message.

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