Diocesan Sponsored Walk

Instead of a fundraising diocesan cycle this year we decided to branch out a bit and took on the first part of the Tochar Padriag from Ballintubber Abbey to Killawalla. 12 intrepid explorers turned out at Ballintubber and after a briefing about the walk by Fr Frank we set off.

He explained to us that there are five elements built in to any pilgrimage, which distinguish pilgrim from tourist. They are as follows:

  • Faith: we lit a candle before we set off and were encouraged to pray as we crossed the stiles

  • Penance: weren’t to complain but instead to say “Thanks be to God”

  • Community: we were to include all walkers in the group and travel together rather than race off at different speeds

  • Mystery: we were encouraged to observe silence at designated markers along the way

  • Change of heart: as we traveled, we were to think about what God was suggesting we change about ourselves. We each picked up a sharp stone as we set off, thinking about the rough edges and how God wished to smooth them away

  • Celebration: we were to share our food, joy, love and care as we walked.

The walk took about 3.5 hours and although the weather mostly stayed dry, there were a couple of quite heavy downpours during which the words, “Thanks be to God,” were said with much vigour! Once we finished at Killalwalla, we were met by a couple of drivers and transported back to Ballintubber where we ate our lunches and chatted together.

It was a very enjoyable day, and raised approximately €1400 for the MAJI Appeal. Thanks to all those who walked and to all those who sponsored us in our walking!