Thirty-one parishes in the Sydney Archdiocese are hosting a new pilgrimage throughout October for the patroness of Australia – Our Lady Help of Christians. Each day a pilgrim statue of Our Lady Help of Christians will tour the respective parishes with the invitation for the community to pray together.
The 2020 Rosary pilgrimage, centred on devotion to the rosary and Our Lady Help of Christians, is a point of hope during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
people have spoken about the great need to hold onto hope
“During COVID a lot of people have spoken about the great need to hold onto hope. The rosary is one of those reminders – we turn to Our Lady. Wherever Our Lady is she brings us to Jesus,” said Steve Buhagiar, a team leader from the Sydney Archdiocese’s Life Marriage and Family Office.
Mr Buhagiar was inspired to organise the pilgrimage after discovering information on an ancient pilgrimage in Boulogne, France – Our Lady of the Grand Return – which was credited with helping to revitalise French Catholics after WWII. “The article piqued my interest and prompted me to do something locally,” he told The Catholic Weekly.
Coordination of the pilgrimage will be shared with the Life, Marriage and Family and Sydney Catholic Youth teams, as well as the Confraternity of the Servants of Mary Help of Christians – who are supplying a statue of Our Lady to be a focus for the tour.
The statue itself has its own history of touring Australia in a trailer since its arrival in Australia from Italy in 1991. Now it is being taken out once again as a rallying of hope during the doldrums of the COVID-era.
“So we are taking a very traditional element of our Catholic faith in a pilgrimage and marrying it with the title of Mary Help of Christians,” said Mr Buhagiar who is encouraging all to participate.
“If Our Lady is coming to visit your parish why not register to be in attendance? Bring your family – or pray along with us online via the Life Marriage Family facebook page.” October is traditionally regarded as a Marian month, with the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on 7 October.
Arrangements throughout the pilgrimage will be conducted in accordance with the ongoing social-distancing regulations with limited capacity at each venue. To take part in the pilgrimage it is therefore advised to register attendance at the parish of your choice by contacting your parish office. Devotional resources on the pilgrimage can be found on the Life Marriage and Family Facebook page or at the Life Marriage and Family website.