More than 1500 pilgrims, mostly young people, are expected to take part in the Good Friday night walk through Parramatta Diocese this week. Source: Catholic Outlook.
On Good Friday, April 19, beginning at 10pm and going through to the early hours of Holy Saturday morning, hundreds of young people will walk almost 20 kilometres and reflect on the Stations of the Cross within a contemporary context.
Following last year’s Good Friday night walk, James Camden, Director, Catholic Youth Parramatta (CYP), and members of its organising committee felt that the walk needed to change.
“We had to think differently moving into the future,” James said.
“Every year, it has grown progressively, but then last year, the numbers really swelled by another 300 people.
“It was really at this point that we thought the walk was too big for what we could manage.
“We can’t imagine the walk decreasing in popularity, if anything, it’s going to increase in popularity.
“So, the [Diocesan] Youth Council made an important decision at their February meeting to split the walk, split our resources, and put on two really beautiful routes of reflection to the Cathedral,” he said.
Organised by CYP, the Good Friday Walk is a way for young people across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains to walk, talk, sing, and pray with Jesus.
“Every year, we ask people to stand if they are someone who has never done the Good Friday walk before, and every year, at least 60 per cent of the crowd are brand new,” James explained.
“We will anticipate that again, over half the participants will be brand new to the walk.
“Many of them are not regular practicing Catholics, but have seen something challenging, exciting and meaningful about the walk – and that’s exactly what it should be,” he said.
This year, registered participants will be able to choose between two different routes which will meet at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.
The new route will start at St Patrick’s Parish, Guildford, and will journey through Holy Family Parish, East Granville, Holy Trinity Parish, Granville, St Margaret Mary's Parish, Merrylands and St Oliver Plunkett's Parish, Harris Park to arrive at St Patrick’s Cathedral.
The traditional route begins at St Patrick’s Church, Blacktown, and will travel to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Seven Hills, St Anthony of Padua Parish, Toongabbie, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Wentworthville and Sacred Heart Parish, Westmead before reaching St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Good Friday Walk is ‘challenging, exciting and meaningful’ (Catholic Outlook)