The Pilgrim Way in Marino
Good Friday in Marino parish saw the introduction of a beautiful new spiritual tradition and indeed the revival of an older custom. Parishioners had been invited to take part in a Camino walk within the parish bounds, taking in five churches and not the seven of older times.
Organised by Cora O’Farrell and her team and with the great assistance of everyone associated with the other churches, the walk got underway after the conclusion of the traditional Good Friday ceremonies in the Church of St. Vincent de Paul.
Each participant was given a passport at the start to be stamped at each Church on the way. They were also asked to carry a stone symbolizing the burden of our sins which Christ had borne, and as a symbol of the weight of our own worries and failure.
Walking along Griffith Avenue, sunlight dappling the budding leaves, the procession wound its way to the Marino Institute. There in the beautiful Chapel, Cora enacted the first half of the Godly Play, from the birth of Christ to his adult life. Surrounded by all the children who had come with their parents, she engaged them, and all present with this retelling in simple words of the life of Our Saviour.
Onwards with the Taizé chant, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”, in our minds, we moved through the grounds of All Hallows, to the warm welcome of Reverend Garth Bunting, the Rector of St. John the Baptist Church, an historic welcoming Church. There, we were asked to meditate on our journey and share in Christ’s last hours on the Cross, and His seven last words. This was a moving meditation in which we were led by Philomena Clare. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Ascension window, one could not but be moved to reflect on those final moments.
On then to All Hallows where Father Liam reminded us of all the young men who had entered there to become priests and went forth and spread the word. Truly we were reminded of these many followers of the Cross.
Cora with her young audience, again held all our attention, with the final act of the Godly play, bringing us to the final reality of Good Friday.
Thence to St. Joseph’s, Rosmini, where we were reminded of the role and function of this Church and of the Rosminians who had worked there. It was a reminder to all of us of the gifts of our senses and the gift of sight. This concluded with the Taizé hymn, a reminder of the Good Fridays around the Cross there with the Taize rituals.
Our last stopping point was our mother Church, where those still with us left their stones at the foot of the Cross, in solidarity with Christ and in the hope of the Resurrection. One of the pilgrims reminded all of us of the debt we owed Cora and her team for such a wonderful prayer experience, walking in the shadow of the Lord. Father Tom drew the evening to a close with a final blessing.